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Langbour N. Diderot as the critique of art and the translation of time and place: from the pictural composition to the literary decomposition / recomposition. Studia Litterarum, 2018, vol. 3, no 2, pp. 26–37. (In French)

Author: Nadège Langbour
Information about the author:

Nadège Langbour, PhD, Associate Professor, C.E.R.E.d.I., University of Rouen, Department of Philology and Humanities, Lavoisier str., 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan, France.

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Received: February 12, 2018
Published: June 25, 2018
Issue: 2018 Vol. 3, №2
Department: Literary Theory
Pages: 26-36

UDK: 821.133.1
BBK: 83.3(4Фра)5 + 83
Keywords: Diderot, art critic, literary translation of painting, unity of time and place.


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.


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