1788. Oil on canvas. 259.7 x 196 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA. Read Note.
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-94) French chemist, born in Paris, known as the founder of modern chemistry. To finance his investigations, he accepted in 1768 the office of farmer-general of taxes. He built a large laboratory in which he discovered the composition of air, oxygen, its importance in respiration, combustion and as a compound with metals. A political liberal, he saw the great necessity for reform in France but was against revolutionary methods. He frequented the circle of the Trudaine brothers, where he met David. As a tax farmer and Commissioner for Gunpowder, Lavoisier came under suspicion during the Revolution and was executed during the Reign of Terror.
Marie-Anne Lavoisier, wife of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier.
See: Jacques-Louis David. Portrait of Antoine-Laurent and Marie-Anne Lavoisier.
Chambers Biographical Dictionary. Chambers. 1996