In the footsteps of Joseph-Louis LAGRANGE (1736 - 1813)

The year 2013 marks the bicentenary of the death of mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange. This commemorative exhibition, under the patronage of UNESCO, builds on two previous exhibitions organised by the École Polytechnique and the Turin Academy of Sciences. It will feature a 26-minute documentary film produced by the Henri Poincaré Institute.


From mechanics to number theory to economy, the breadth and depth of the work of this great 18th-century scientist gives us the opportunity to bring into perspective our own relationship with scientific knowledge. To add meaning to the original documents presented, the exhibition not only takes visitors in the footsteps of Lagrange from Turin to Berlin and finally Paris, but also travels alongside the post-horses of the Republic of Letters, whose epistolary networks fostered the development of mathematics. The exhibition also highlights the role played by academies in the Ancien Régime, in order to better understand how the French Revolution transformed the links between science and society, and led scientists to become professors through the creation of new institutions such as the École Polytechnique and the École Normale.

Where to see the exhibition ?

  • At the École Polytechnique until 23 December 2013.
  • At the Mairie of the 5th Arrondissement of Paris, 10-19 December 2013.

Admission free Monday-Saturday 11:00-18:00. Thursday, 12 December until 19:30.

The exhibition was designed by Frederick Brechenmacher, Professor at HSS department, in the seminar "Stories of Science and Techniques" with students of polytechnic second year it framed. To support the exhibition organized by the Academy of Sciences of Turin, an additional component was coordinated by Jerome Perez, Professor at the Laboratory of Applied Mathematics - ENSTA ParisTech and coordinator quarter Gravasco at IHP.

Layout and design : Frédéric Zantonio
Illustration : Collection École polytechnique
Partners : École polytechnique, CRH, HSS Département of École polytechnique, SABIX, Poly-média Centre of École polytechnique, UNESCO, Mairie du 5e arrondissement of Paris, Sciences Academy of Turin, UPMC, lCNRS, Carmin Labex, ENSTA.

To go further :  Image des mathématiques helps Lagrange exposure beyond the walls of the Ecole Polytechnique in offering its readers a new version of the catalog of the exhibition in the form of six articles to be published regularly in the autumn of 2013.