Oeuvres de Jean Racine

Author: Written by Jean Racine (French, baptized 1639–1699 Paris)

Illustrator: Illustrated by Pierre Paul Prud'hon (French, Cluny 1758–1823 Paris)

Illustrator: Illustrated by Jean Guillaume Moitte (French, Paris 1746–1810 Paris)

Illustrator: Illustrated by Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson (French, Montargis 1767–1824 Paris)

Illustrator: Illustrated by Taunai (French, active early 19th century)

Illustrator: Illustrated by Antoine Denis Chaudet (French, Paris 1763–1810 Paris)

Engraver: Engraved by Jean-Baptiste-Michel Dupréel (French, active 1787–1817)

Publisher: Published by Pierre Didot l'ainé (French, 1761–1853) , Paris

Illustrator: Illustrated by baron François Gérard (French, Rome 1770–1837 Paris)

Published in: Paris

Date: 1801

Medium: Printed book with engraved illustrations

Dimensions: Overall: 19 11/16 x 13 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. (50 x 35 x 7 cm)

Classification: Books

Credit Line: Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and The Elisha Whittelsey Funds; and Gift of John Sise, by exchange, 1958

Accession Number: 58.635.1(2)


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.