The editor of the 'Encyclopedie' and author of idiosyncratic works of fiction such as 'Rameau's Nephew', Denis Diderot (1713-84) was also the first great art critic. His most important productions in this genre - the 'Salon of 1765' and the 'Salon of 1767', each occasioned by one of the biennial exhibitions held in the Louvre - are among the most brilliant and captivating texts of the French eighteenth century, and this edition makes them available in English for the first time. Diderot's writings on art, the most important before Baudelaire, are poised between the eras of aesthetic idealism, of princely patronage and the modern art market. They take the many contradictions of this transitional moment in Western visual culture as their object of study, exploring them with all the sparkling wit, analytic penetration, and human empathy which Diderot could command. An introduction by Thomas Crow describes the peculiar circumstances under which these texts were written, and concise notes make it possible for non-specialist readers to keep their bearings in the vividly evoked world of late eighteenth-century Paris. The 'Salon of 1767' is the longest and most extravagantly inventive of Diderot's art-critical texts. It is perhaps best known for an enchanting excursion through the landscapes of several paintings by Joseph Vernet and for Diderot's ruminations on historical nostalgia, prompted by pictures of ruins by Hubert Robert, but it also explores many questions which remain of compelling interest: the relationships of nature and culture, invention and convention, language and the visual, power and image. John Goodman is a specialist in French visual culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Thomas Crow is Chair of History of Art at the University of Sussex, and the author of 'Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Paris' and 'Emulation: Making Artists for Revolutionary France', both published by Yale University Press.