Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and Marie-Anne Paulze Lavoisier as the Lovers Tarot, Founders of Modern Chemistry, History of Science, Biology

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Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and Marie-Anne Paulze Lavoisier as the Lovers Tarot, Founders of Modern Chemistry, History of Science, Biology

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Original Price: CA$40.70

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  • Handmade
  • Materials: paper, washi, kozo paper, ink

  • Height: 12.5 inches
  • Width: 8.5 inches

Invited to create a piece inspired by the Lovers tarot card, I chose to continue with my history of science series and make a linocut depicting French scientists Antoine Lavoisier (26 August 1743 – 8 May 1794) and his wife Marie-Anne Paulze Lavoisier (20 January 1758 – 10 February 1836). The prints are 7.5" x 12.5" with an image area of 5" x 8.3". Each are printed on Japanese kozo paper, with collaged pink lungs and patterned vest.

I hope considering them as a true (and loving team) is a more modern day interpretation of love and their history, as well as a more complete and accurate look at the development of chemistry. The couple, working closely together, modernized and quantified chemistry and the scientific method, recognized and named oxygen and hydrogen, explained the role that oxygen plays in combustion, helped modernize chemical nomenclature and discovered that mass is conserved in chemical reactions. Traditionally Antoine has been called the "father of modern chemistry" (with little to no mention of his wife) though more modern scholarship points out that Paulze translated all his contemporaries' works from English to French (complete with footnotes pointing out errors in chemistry), took notes of all observations, illustrated all experimental set-ups, edited his reports and worked so closely with him we can't easily separate their roles. Attributing everything to him alone is clearly not the full picture. She fought to defend his legacy after he was executed during the French Revolution, and kept his name for the rest of her life, even during her short-lived second marriage to physicist Benjamin Thomson, Count Rumford. (She dumped Rumford as soon as she realized that he did not intend for her to work alongside him in the lab.)

I draw on a variety of the aspects of historical tarot cards. I've included the word "L'Amoureux" in French, for this French couple. I chose them, not only as a loving historical scientific couple, but because the card is associated with flames and the element of air. The Lavoisiers studied air and were the ones who really showed that air was not an element (in the modern chemical sense) by isolating various constituent gases like oxygen, and debunking the earlier phlogiston theory. I have specifically shown them with their famous phlogiston experiment apparatus. Further, not only did they recognize the role that oxygen played in combustion, Lavoisier and his friend Pierre-Simon Laplace also recognized that the process of respiration was in fact a slow, controlled combustion - hence the image of the lungs with flames (also an allusion to the flaming heart symbol and iconography).

You can also find portraits of other Enlightenment scientists (or their imaginary friends, like Laplace's Demon) here:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/minouette?ref=si_shop§ion_id=6820498

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465 shop reviews 5 out of 5 stars

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Karishma Punwani 10 Feb, 2018

5 out of 5 stars

I couldn't be more happy with this purchase. I bought two science lino block prints and they are stunning. I simply love the attention to detail that went into making each print. Thank you so much!

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Karishma Punwani 10 Feb, 2018

5 out of 5 stars

I couldn't be more happy with this purchase. I bought two science lino block prints and they are stunning. I simply love the attention to detail that went into making each print. Thank you so much!

Purchased item:

Anna Jean Mallinson 29 Dec, 2015

5 out of 5 stars

Ada arrived to-day. Thank you for packing my treasure so carefully. She is beautiful. She is under my little Xmas Tree for now. I'll mat and frame her under glass in the new year!!

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Bridget Bradshaw 31 Dec, 2019

5 out of 5 stars

After admiring all of these prints for a while, I jumped at the chance to own this piece of art! It is so beautiful and the idea of making it a color-changing lightbox is genius! We don’t have a TV, so I spend a lot of time staring at this polar bear. It makes the short cut of things that move with me from place to place.

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