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French Warship: Denis Diderot c.1770

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  • Author: Denis Diderot
  • Date: c.1770
  • Medium: Hand-colored copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Excellent - two vertical folds flanking center of image
  • Inches: 18" x 14"
  • Centimeters: 46.16 x 35.90
  • Product ID: 001346

From Diderot's Encyclopedie, based on a work by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin.

Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was a prominent French philosopher, writer, and editor during the Enlightenment era. Born in Langres, France, Diderot was the son of a cutler and was educated by Jesuits. He eventually moved to Paris, where he became a writer and editor for several prominent publications.

Diderot's most famous work is the Encyclopédie, a massive compendium of knowledge that aimed to compile and disseminate all human knowledge. He co-edited the Encyclopédie with Jean Le Rond d'Alembert and oversaw the contributions of numerous writers and scholars. The Encyclopédie was highly controversial at the time, as it challenged the authority of the Catholic Church and the French monarchy.

Diderot was also known for his philosophical writings, which focused on topics such as ethics, aesthetics, and the nature of reality. He was a proponent of materialism and believed that knowledge should be based on empirical evidence rather than faith or tradition.

Despite his influential work, Diderot faced significant persecution throughout his life. His books were banned in France and he was imprisoned for several months due to his controversial views. Nevertheless, he continued to write and publish until his death in 1784.

Diderot's legacy as a philosopher, writer, and editor is still celebrated today. His ideas and works helped to shape the Enlightenment movement and his Encyclopédie remains a testament to the power of knowledge and the importance of free thought and expression.