In his reflections on painting, Diderot as a theoretician of fine arts explains that the painter must respect the unity of time and place for the paintings to be thematically and aesthetically solid. However, the unities present a problem for Diderot when he attempts to describe specific paintings in his accounts of painting exhibitions. Indeed, the writing requires conveying the instantaneous and unmediated perception of the work of art in discreet words. Moreover, the description of paintings suggests their fragmentation into different scenes that seems to dilate time and place out of the scene described. Diderot invents several descriptive methods that allow him solve this problem.
1 L’Encyclopédie. Paris, Briasson, David, Le Breton, Durand, 1751–1772. 17 t. (In French)
2 Diderot D. Essais sur la peinture, Salons de 1759, 1761, 1763. Paris, Hermann, 1984. 294 p. (In French)
3 Diderot D. Salon de 1765. Paris, Hermann, 1984. 370 p. (In French)
4 Diderot D. Salon de 1767. Paris, Hermann, 1995. 564 p. (In French)
5 Diderot D. Salons de 1969, 1771, 1775, 1781, Pensées détachées sur la peinture. Paris, Hermann, 1995. 461 p. (In French)