Oeuvres de Jean Racine

Various artists/makers

Not on view

This is the second volume of Didot's three-volume The Works of Racine. In his preface to the books, Didot referred to this edition as a "monument to Racine." He carried out this metaphor in the scale and luxuriousness of the edition, as well as in commissioning contemporary artists to illustrate it. The presentation of the illustrations reinforces the impressiveness of the edition, where an equality of scale is established between image and text: both the distance from the top of each illustration to the bottom of the caption below, and the width of each illustration are equal to the size of the text blocks that open each act and face the illustrations. This visual equivalence asserts the significance of the illustrations as interpretations of the text, and as images in their own right. Didot's claims for the significance of the illustrations were underscored by the fact that the individual prints were exhibited regularly at the Salon.

Oeuvres de Jean Racine, Written by Jean Racine (French, baptized 1639–1699 Paris), Printed book with engraved illustrations

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Plate 42: Iphigénie, Act IV, sc. 6