Lavoisier respiration experiment, 1770s

Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Lavoisier respiration experiment, 18th century. French chemist Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794) in his laboratory with his wife and his assistants. His wife (Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758-1836) is taking notes at far right. They married in 1771 when she was 13, and over the years she helped her husband with much of his scientific work. The experiment is one that Lavoisier carried out in the 1770s on respiration, with the subject (far left) breathing air from a sealed system of pipes and containers. This is a copy of an artwork held at the Musee du Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris, France.