marie anne pierrette paulze

“Portrait of Monsieur de Lavoisier and his Wife (Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze)” (1788) (detail) by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825).

anonymous asked:

I really liked the Top 5 OTP post you did. The Lavoisiers were new to me. What are some other things you love about them?

about The Lavoisiers, they were ‘immortalized’ by the painter David. Maybe you know this painting?

as i explained before: NERDS BEING IN LOVE!!
this is what i love the most about them (you know, like The Curies). so here a short bio about their couple:

in 1761, when she was only 3, Marie-Anne’s mother died. Her father placed her in a convent where she received her formal education. There she forged her character, with a special interest in science and drawing. At 13, she received a marriage proposal from a man of 50. To thwart the marriage, her father made an offer to Antoine Lavoisier, one of his colleagues to ask for his daughter’s hand instead. Lavoisier accepted the proposition, and he and Marie-Anne were married on 16 December 1771.
Now considered as the Father of Modern Chemistry, Lavoisier’s interest in chemistry started in childhood and blossomed during his years of education. After his marriage, with the new financial security, he was now able to construct a state-of-the-art chemistry laboratory.
Marie-Anne soon became interested in his scientific research and began to actively participate in her husband’s laboratory work. As her interest developed, Antoine gave her formal training in the field. The Lavoisiers spent most of their time together in the laboratory, working as a team conducting research on many fronts. She translated documents about chemistry from English to French to keep her husband abreast of current developments in chemistry. In fact, the majority of the research effort put forth in the laboratory was actually a joint effort of the couple, with Marie-Anne mainly playing the role of laboratory assistant. She accompanied Lavoisier in his lab during the day, making entries into his lab notebooks and sketching diagrams of his experimental designs. The training she had received from the painter David allowed her to accurately and precisely draw experimental apparatuses, which ultimately helped many of Lavoisier’s contemporaries to understand his methods and results. Together, the Lavoisiers rebuilt the field of chemistry.
The couple never had children. This fact may explain the exclusive devotion that united Marie-Anne and Antoine.
In 1794 Lavoisier, due to his prominent position in the Ferme-Générale as tax collector, was branded a traitor by French revolutionaries and imprisoned. Throughout his imprisonment Marie-Anne visited him regularly and fought for his release. She presented his case before Antoine Dupin, who was Lavoisier’s accuser. She told of her husband’s accomplishments as a scientist and his importance to the nation of France. Despite her efforts Lavoisier was tried, convicted of treason and executed on 8 May 1794 in Paris, at the age of 50.
After his death, Marie-Anne became bitter. She was thrown into bankruptcy following the new government’s confiscation of her money and seizing all of Lavoisier’s notebooks and laboratory equipment. Despite these obstacles, Marie-Anne organized the publication of Lavoisier’s final memoirs, a compilation of his papers and those of his colleagues demonstrating the principles of the new chemistry.
Marie-Anne eventually remarried, following a four-year courtship and engagement to Count Rumford. Rumford was one of the most well-known physicists at the time, but the marriage between the two was difficult and short-lived. Marie-Anne insisted throughout her life that she retain the last name of her first husband, demonstrating her undying devotion to him. She died suddenly in her home in Paris on 10 February 1836, at the age of 78.

science and love and death.
what more could you ask for?  ♥


Cool Chicks of STEM History, June 2014 

Complete List of Posts:

Merit-Ptah (top left)




Trota of Salerno (top right)

Magistra Hersend (center left)

The Women of Schola Medica Salernitana

Louise Bourgeois Boursier

Justine Siegemund

Maria Sibylla Merian

Maria Winkelmann Kirch

Emilie du Chatelet

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze (center right)

Sophie Germain (bottom left)

Jeanne Villepreux-Power

Mary Anning (bottom right)

Thanks to all who contributed artwork!

Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze (1758-1836)

Art by April Babcock (tumblr)

At the age of thirteen, Marie-Anne married Antoine Lavoisier, a 28 year old chemist.  Antoine is known as the “Father of Modern Chemistry.”  He named oxygen and hydrogen and showed these gases could be measured in a closed vessel.  He disproved the Phlogiston theory and discovered the role oxygen plays in combustion.    

Marie-Anne and Antoine worked so closely together that it is somewhat difficult to separate their accomplishments.  Notes from Antoine’s lab show numerous entries written by Marie-Anne and their work is often considered a joint enterprise.  At the very least, she was a deeply devoted assistant in his scientific lab.  Trained in art by Jacques-Louis David, Marie-Anne sketched Antoine’s experiments and apparatuses, providing the the drawings for his book The Elements of Chemistry.  Fluent in English and Latin, Marie-Anne translated numerous scientific texts and wrote her own commentary.  

Antoine was arrested during the Reign of Terror and although Marie-Anne fought for his release, Antoine was executed on May 8, 1794.  Marie-Anne spent 65 days in jail.  Marie-Anne’s scientific work ended when her husband died.