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Diorama showing Lavoisier carrying out an experiment in Paris in 1789, England, 1945-1960

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This diorama shows the great French chemist Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794), considered the pioneer of modern chemistry, conducting an experiment on breathing. His assistant, Armand Séguin (1767-1835), is wearing a rubber mask connected to a spirometer to measure the amount of air breathed in and the amount of carbon dioxide breathed out. Lavoisier is taking Séguin’s pulse at the same time. The diorama is based on a sketch by Lavoisier’s wife, Marie-Anne, who can be seen taking notes in the background.

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Glossary: diorama

A model with three-dimensional objects, often sculpture, with a realistic painted background.