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Silvestre, Paul Armand

SILVESTRE, PAUL ARMAND (1837-1901), French poet and conteur, was born in Paris on the 18th of April 1837. He studied at the Ecole polytechnique with the intention of entering the army, but in 1870 he entered the department of finance. He had a successful official career, was decorated with the Legion of Honour in 1886, and in 1892 was made inspector of fine arts. Armand Silvestre made his entry into literature as a poet, and was reckoned among the Parnassians. His volumes of verse include: Rimes neuves et vieilles (1866), to which George Sand wrote a preface; Les Renaissances (1870); La Chanson des heures (1878); Le Chemin des etoiles (1885), etc. The poet was also a contributor to Gil Bias and other Parisian journals, distinguishing himself by the licence he permitted himself. To these " absences " from poetry, as Henri Chantavoine calls them, belong the seven volumes of La Vie pour rire (1881-1883), Conies pantagrueliques et galants (1884), Le Lime des joyeusetes (1884), Gauloiseries nouvelles (1888), etc. For the stage he wrote in many different manners: Sapho (1881), a drama; Henry VIII (1883), with Leonce Detroyat, music by Saint-Saens; and the Drames sacres (1893), religious pictures after i4th- and 15 thcentury Italian painters, with music by Gounod. An account ol his varied and somewhat incongruous production is hardly complete without mention of his art criticism. Le Nu au Salon (1888-1892), in five volumes, with numerous illustrations, was followed by other volumes of the same type. He died at/Toulouse on the i gth of February 1901.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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