Take a visual journey through Voltaire's Candide

Candide in the Digital Gallery



The New York Public Library’s Digital Gallery is free and accessible to anyone, regardless of whether or not you have a library card.

The Digital Gallery has more than 700,000 images for the public to access. Images from the Digital Gallery are perfect for classroom use for several reasons: they increase visual literacy, they can serve as anticipatory or summative activities, they can make a difficult text more accessible, and they allow multiple points of entry into a given topic.


From the Home Page (nypl.org): 


2. On the BOTTOM of any page after the home page,
    click where it says “Digital Gallery”

3. From the Digital Gallery page, you can explore curated collections,
    do your own searching (try your neighborhood!), or type in specific
    digital id numbers (see below).

The following are links to images related to Candide.
You can click on the links or type in the ID number.

Candide cover page [Image ID: 492663]


Map of Lisbon, ca. 1576–1618 [Image ID: 54652]

This is a depiction of Lisbon between 1576 and 1618.

- Even though this image is before the time of Voltaire,
  what can you tell about Lisbon’s:     
        • Geography
        • Residential areas
        • Waterways
- Would you want to live in this city? Why or why not?
- Is it different from the Lisbon you pictured when you read Candide?
- Why would an earthquake devastate Lisbon?


The never-ending search for the missing in the earthquake
and fire devastated ruins of San Francisco (1906)

[Image ID G90F001_055]

This is an image of the San Francisco earthquake,
which had less magnitude and loss of life than the Lisbon
earthquake. Nonetheless, it is a sample of the destruction
wrought by natural disasters.

- Why would seeing the effects of an earthquake influence Voltaire?
- What would your response be if you traveled to a place that had
  had a recent earthquake?
- Have you ever seen an actual natural disaster, or the effects of one?
  How do you think people survive and rebuild?


El Dorado (1913) [Image ID 833682]

This is an image of Eldorado in the United States.

- How does the image of the goddess and the dice fit with the
  Eldorado of Candide?

- What did you think of Eldorado as described in the book?
  Would you have liked to live there?


The manner of the execution of the conspirators at Lisbon,
January 13th, 1759 (1759)
[Image ID 814566]

This is an image of an execution in Lisbon around the
time of Candide.

- What can you tell about how executions were carried out?
  Who participated?
- Who is in the background of the image? Who is in the foreground?
  What does this tell you about the nature of executions in
  18th-century Europe?
- What were Cunegonde's thoughts as she witnessed the auto-da-fé
  (the burning at the stake of heretics) at Lisbon? What is a heretic?


Garden of the Grand Trianon, 1789-1790 (1889)
[Image ID: 812097]

This is an image of France around the time of Candide.

- What role does dress play in your interpretation of the people in
  this image? Does it give you a clue to their social class?
- If you were in a public garden today, would you be able to tell who
  belonged to which social class? Why or why not?
- Would you want to be in the garden? Would Candide?
  Why or why not?
- There are a number of significant and clearly symbolic gardens
  in Candide. What point about gardens is Voltaire trying to make?


Paradise Bay, Lake George (1870?–1885?)
[Image ID: G91F121_050ZF]

This is an image of a search result for “Paradise” in NYPL’s
Digital Gallery.

- Why do you think this bay was given the name “Paradise”?
- Is it your idea of Paradise? What is?
- Do you think Candide would consider this to be paradise?
  Why or why not?
- What would Voltaire consider to be paradise?