Lavoisier is having none of your shit.
Heeeey so fun fact: the woman in that painting is Lavoisier’s wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, who not only acted as Lavoisier’s lab assistant but also translated English and Latin texts into French so he could read them. But she didn’t just translate, she pointed out errors in the chemistry in some of the texts. Her observations of these errors convinced Lavoisier to study combustion, which led to his discovery of oxygen. She was also critical to the publication of Lavoisier’s Elementary Treatise on Chemistry in 1789. She kept strict records of every experiment they conducted together and drew detailed diagrams of all their equipment. She also threw amazing parties and invited all the brightest minds in science so her husband could pick their brains. After Lavoisier was guillotined she secured all of his notebooks and equipment for posterity.
In short: NOBODY KICKS MADAME LAVOISIER OUT OF THE LAB.
Also, a side note: My historian husband-to-be pointed some things out to me about this painting. Notice that Madame Lavoisier is looking at the viewer, and all the light is on her, while Lavoisier himself is physically smaller than her, in shadow, and looking up to her in reverence. This isn’t a candid photograph- all of these choices are deliberate. The painting isn’t of Lavoisier- Madame Lavoisier is meant to be the central subject.
I can just imagine Lavoisier telling all his colleagues that his wife is really the one with all the clever ideas, and them patting him on the back and telling him he’s sweet for saying so.
I LOVE IT