The Jaquet-Drozes' grotto - The website of automatons, automata and androids.
The Jaquet-Drozes' grotto and three automatons - The website of automatons, automata and androids.
The Jaquet-Drozes' grotto and their three androids
Charles Perregaux and F.Louis Perrot, authors of the book Les Jaquet-Droz et Leschot (The Jaquet-Drozes and Leschot), say: "We know about the three automata of 1774, but we have not yet mentionned a fourth room for automata which was built at that time and which was surely very interesting and sophisticated: the "grotto".

A poster published in Lyon on 3, January 1784 introduces the automatons and describes the "grotto" as followed:" The scenery is a Swiss landscape made of steep slopes with a sheepfold, a hut, a mill, a waterfall and a brook. A calf sucks at the udder of a cow which chews the cud, goats and sheeps graze and bleat and a dog watches the herd. A farmer goes out of his hut, he is sitting on a donkey. He goes through the landscape to the mill and then comes back on foot, leading his donkey which carries a bag. When he passes by, a dog barks.

A part of the Jaquet-Drozes' grotto - The website of automatons, automata and androids.
A part of the Jaquet-Drozes'grotto

A shepherd comes outside a cave, brings a flute to his lips and plays a prelude which echoes. Then he approaches his wakening wife who takes her guitar and accompanies him. The foreground of this place represents an orchestra with a building's façade at the edge. Under the portal a female farmer plays various minuets on a dulcimer while two young ladies dance in a precise and graceful way, the waterfalls and the fountain create a delusion and different birds sing in an aviary.

"Such a sophisticated piece of work must never have been repaired; it must have been falling into ruins and abandoned in a lumber room."

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