Emilie du Chatelet was born on 17 December 1706 in Paris, France. She was the only girl among her six siblings, and her eldest brother, Rene-Alexandre, died in 1720.
On 20 June 1725, Emilie married the Marquis Florent-Claude du Chastellet-Lomont, who was the governor of Semur-en-Auxois in Burgundy. Like many marriages among the nobility, theirs was an arranged one.
Portrait of Emilie du Chatelet by Jean-Baptiste Cusson
Emilie du Chatelet was a French mathematician, natural philosopher and author during the Enlightenment. She is best known for her translation and commentary on Isaac Newton’s book Principia Mathematica, which is still considered the standard French translation.
She was also interested in ethics (translating Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees), theology and the Bible, and the source of human happiness. She was married to the marquis florent-claude du chastellet-lomont, a count of Lomont and a distinguished military officer.
During the 1730s she lived at Cirey, in Lorraine, where she hosted Voltaire and other intellectuals. She was a prolific writer on a range of topics, including science and philosophy. She is especially known for her translation and commentary on Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, published posthumously in 1759.
Portrait of Florent-Claude du Chastellet-Lomont by Jean-Baptiste Cusson
Florent-Claude du chastellet-lomont is a marquis who was renowned for his generosity. He donated many valuable works of art to the city of Nancy, and he was a popular figure among the public.
The portrait of Florent-Claude was painted by Jean-Baptiste Cusson in 1756. The work is an excellent example of the artist’s skill in depicting people in a realistic manner.
In this portrait, Florent-Claude is surrounded by his friends. He has a large smile on his face and is wearing a top hat.
He holds a bouquet of flowers in his hand. He has a long beard.
The background is a landscape. He is wearing a brown coat.
The inscription at the bottom of the work reads, “Boarder.” It is written in a Roman script. It is a tribute to the man’s kindness and generosity. He is the son of Louis-Marie-Florent du chastellet-lomont and Gabrielle Emilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil.
Portrait of Louis-Marie-Florent du Chastellet-Lomont by Jean-Baptiste Cusson
Louis-Marie-Florent du Chastellet-Lomont was the son of a French seigneur and a Belgian woman. He served as a minister and a diplomat in several countries.
This portrait of the marquis is engraved by Jean-Baptiste Cusson and was produced in 1698. It is a beautiful example of a neoclassical style.
The sitter is dressed in a white suit and is holding a book. His expression is very pensive and he is holding his head.
A small inscription on the back of the portrait reads “Le pape a genoux sur un prie-Dieu, appelait jadis en Lorraine”. It is signed by J. Thiriet and D. Laurent.
The inscription appears to be written in a hand that looks a little older than the rest of the portrait. This makes it a bit harder to date the work. However, the inscription is very interesting and shows that Cusson was very familiar with his subject’s biography. He also had a good grasp of how to portray people’s emotions.
Portrait of Gabrielle Emilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil by Jean-Baptiste Cusson
Gabrielle Emilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil was born into an aristocratic family in Paris on December 17, 1706. She received an excellent education at home, which included scientific, musical, and literary studies. She married the marquis florent-claude du chastellet-lomont in 1725.
Upon her marriage she lived with her husband in Semur-en-Auxois in Burgundy, but they also spent time in Paris and elsewhere. When her husband left for military service in 1730 she returned to Paris.
She was an accomplished astronomer who enjoyed the company of her friends. One of them was Fontenelle, the perpetual secretary of the French Academy of Sciences.
She was an important figure in the scientific and military circles of her time. She was the author of several articles on astronomy, and her work was highly influential. Her writing was reprinted in numerous publications. Her works were admired by Voltaire and others. She was also the editor of a popular book on astronomy and mathematics.