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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Emilie du Chatelet

b. 1706, Paris; d. 1749, Lunéville, France

Émilie du Châtelet, a physicist and mathematician, was also the mistress of French writer Voltaire, with whom she shared an intense interest in philosophy and science. In 1740, she published Institutions de physique (Lessons in Physics), a survey of the most advanced ideas of the time. Near the end of her life, she also worked on a French translation and annotation of Isaac Newton’s Principia mathematica. Published posthumously in 1759, the work remains the standard French edition of Newton’s work.