French Royal Academy of Sciences, 1666

French Royal Academy of Sciences, 1666

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: French Academy of Sciences being presented in 1666 to King Louis XIV (1638-1715, seated, centre) of France. The members of the academy are being presented by the King's Minister of Finance, Jean- Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), standing to the King's right. Colbert was one of the founding members of L'Academie des Sciences. The Academy met in the Royal Library. Other founding members included Mersenne, Descartes, Pascal and Gassendi. The Academy was fairly informal in its first decades, and did not receive its formal royal title of Royal Academy of Sciences until 1699. From 1795, it became part of the Institute of France. Famous members included Huygens and Lavoisier. Artwork based on a tapestry by Lebrun.

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