Didier Diderot

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Didier Diderot (1685–1759), a painting by an unknown artist. Musée d'art et d'histoire de Langres

Didier Diderot (September 14, 1685 in Langres - June 3, 1759 ibid)[1] was a French craftsman and the father of the encyclopedist, author, philosopher of enlightenment Denis Diderot.


Didier Diderot descended from families of local craftsmen from the city of Langres, Champagne. His father, Denis Diderot (1654-1726), senior, was a master craftsman, or rather a knife forgemaster, maître coutelier, and his mother was Nicole Beligné (1655-1692). In June 20, 1679 both had married. Nicole Beligné was born on 1655 as the daughter of a wealthy artisan family. Her father was François Beligné (1625-1697)[2] who was also knife blacksmith, her mother was Catherine Grassot. From his father-in-law Beligné Didier Diderot adopted the labeling of their own products: a pearl, la perle. Didier (compare also Desiderius of Langres) had five brothers - but Didier was the second son - and one sister; these were Antoine Thomas (1682-1755), Claude (1687-1689), François (* 1688), Felix (* 1689) and Didier (* 1690) and Catherine Diderot (* 1690).

Death deed of Didier Diderot, acte de décès[3]

Didier Diderot married on January 19, 1712 in Chassigny Angélique Vigneron (October 12, 1677 - October 1, 1748).[4][5][6] She was the daughter of the tanner, tanneur François Vigneron (died in 1679) and Jeanne Aramite Humblot (died in 1710) from Langres. Didier Diderot was close to the Jansenism. Later they had three sons and four daughters, one son died shortly after his birth in 1712, followed by Denis (1713-1784) and Didier-Pierre (1722-1787), the canon of Langres, Langres chanoine écrivain (see also Roman Catholic Diocese of Langres) and the sisters Denise (1715-1797), Catherine (1716-1718), Catherine (* 1719) and Angélique Diderot (* 1720). Angélique Diderot joined the ursulines.

n° 9 de la place dans le centre ville de Langres in the background on the right side the birthplace of Denis Diderot

The family lived around the year 1713 in the center of Langres, Place Chambeau today the n ° 9 de la place dans le center ville de Langres, a place that now bears the name of Denis Diderot.[7][8][9]

Contemporary view of Langres (Haute-Marne)

Didier Diderot was a specialist in the manufacture of medical and surgical cutting instruments, and his lancets were sought after by teaching doctors.[10]

Selected writing[edit]

  • Diderot, Didier; Marcel, Louis: Une lettre du père de Diderot à son fils, détenu à Vincennes (3 septembre 1749). J. Bière, Bordeaux, (1928)

Further reading[edit]

  • Gautier, Hubert: Le père de Diderot (1685-1759), son testament, sa succession, patrimoine d'un maître coutelier langrois vers le milieu du XVIIIe siècle. Moulins, Crépin-Leblond, (1933).
  • Beligné, Henri: Les couteliers de Langres et de Nogent sous la Révolution. In Bulletin de la société historique et archéologique de Langres. n°313, tome XXI, trimestriel IV, (1993)
  • Bouet, Janine: Les couteliers Langrois au XVIIIe. D.E.S, faculté des lettres de Dijon, (1966)
  • Jean-Jacques Perret: L'Art du Coutelier expert en instruments de Chirurgie. Seconde Partie de l'Art du Coutelier. Premiere section. Jean Desaint & Charles Saillant, Parigi (1772)
  • Société historique et archéologique de Langres: L'art de la coutellerie au pays de Langres et de Nogent: maîtres couteliers orfèvres et graveurs de Langres et de Nogent. Exposition Langres, Société historique et archéologique. Musée du Breuil-de-Saint-Germain, (1966)
  • Furbank, Philip Nicholas: Diderot. A critical biography. Secker & Warburg, London (1992) ISBN 0-436-16853-7

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Diderot à Langres. Villes et Pays d’art et d’histoire Langres Villes et Pays d’art et d’histoire Langres.
  2. ^ Genealogy of the Beligné´s
  3. ^ La vie de Denis Diderot.
  4. ^ Raymond Trousson: Diderot. Éditions Gallimard (2007) ISBN 978-2-07-034170-2 p. 10
  5. ^ Chouillet, Anne-Marie: Trois lettres inédites de Diderot Recherches sur Diderot et sur l'Encyclopédie. Année (1991) Volume 11 Numéro 11 pp. 8-18; p. 9 footnote
  6. ^ Genealogy of the Diderot´s
  7. ^ Birthplace of Denis Diderot in Langres with an inscription on the first floor. Today the ground floor withe the tobacconist Journaux Tabacs le Diderot
  8. ^ La Place Diderot in Langres von MonNuage, http://www.monnuage.fr/
  9. ^ Souviron, Marie: Diderot, Langres et la religion. Recherches sur Diderot et sur l'Encyclopédie Année 1988 Volume 4 Numéro 4 p. 7-36 online