Published: 17 August 2017

Fabienne Verdier illustrates the 50th anniversary edition of the Petit Robert French Dictionary

Fabienne Verdier has illustrated the fiftieth anniversary edition of the Petit Robert Dictionary. Exploring the link between language and image, Verdier examines the nuances and signs of the French language.


‘Open a dictionary, select two words that start with the same letter, space them out side-by-side and observe what happens in your mind.
A kind of mirror effect takes place. Each half of the pair begins to echo and then confront, clash, repel, answer, transform, deconstruct, combine, propel, magnetize or resist the other.

By associating two signs, the mind organizes itself through a process of self-construction, leading to the emergence of a fluctuating magnetic field, the words organically energizing each other, creating the foundations of language or thought’ – Fabienne Verdier

Polyphonies: Formes sensibles du langage et de la peinture featuring the various creative stages of Le Petit Robert dictionary project, co-authored with Alain Rey, will be published by Les Editions Robert and Albin Michel in October.


The Language Experiment, an exhibition on my lexical-artistic collaboration with Alain Rey and Le Petit Robert will be held at the Musée Voltaire (Bibliothèque de Genève) from 3 November to 10 December 2017.