This section of the monumental French Encyclopédie (1751-1780) depicts architectural plans and examples of theatrical machines from the eighteenth century. Each section of the large folio volume begins with detailed descriptions of the plates followed by a set of engravings. The combination of text and illustration reveal the many ways theatres were constructed to enable the creation of specific sets, also pictured in the plates. Chosen because of its historical significance, this set of theater plates reflects the interest Denis Diderot (1713-1784) and Jean Le Rond d’Alembert (1717-1783), the editors of the Encyclopédie, took in describing, systematizing, and disseminating knowledge of the mechanical arts.
(Click on any image to read more about this item.)