Civil Status

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Par Stéphane-Jacques Addade

Maurice Boutet de MonvelMaurice Boutet de Monvel's date of birth, like that of his son Bernard (1), unfortunately came in for continual errors. Not only can we read everywhere that he was born in 1851, but when he got together with a good soul such as Mrs Anne Van Devanter Townsend, the active President of the Trust for Museum Exhibitions in Washington D.C. decided that he was keen to get down to the serious business of trying to rectify the truth. However, a certain Professor Friedrich C. Heller suddenly appeared to explain to us, in what was the renowned Revue de la Bibliothèque Nationale (copyright deposit library publication) that Maurice Boutet de Monvel wasn't born, as some bores claimed, in 1850, but rather 1851(2)!


Once again the source of this mistake is the Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs (The Benezit Dictionary on painters, sculptors, designers and engravers), commonly referred to as Bénézit after its author, and when contacted about this matter, those responsible didn't see fit to reply.


As such it's right to nip this controversy in the bud and finally publish, for once and for all, Maurice Boutet de Monvel's correct date of birth.


Extract from the Bénézit publication 1999


The reader, who will find this information attached to this article, can observe that Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel came into the world in Orléans, on Friday 18 October 1850, whatever Professor Friedrich C. Heller's views on the matter. And since we're under the heading of civil status, the reader will also be able to note that Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel also passed away at his Paris home, at 16, rue de Sèvres, on 16 March 1913, at the age of 62.


(Actes de naissance et de décès )

Maurice Boutet de Monvel’s birth certificate from 1850Maurice Boutet de Monvel’s death certificate from 1913



(1) The reader may like to refer to the note which I devote to Bernard Boutet de Monvel's birth certificate (1881 - 1949) on this website. (↑)
(2) Revue de la Bibliothèque Nationale (copyright deposit library publication) No.27 Spring 1988 Maurice Boutet de Monvel illustrator of children's books by Friedrich C. Heller pp 14 to 25. The author indicates on p15 that "Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel, born on 18 October 1851 in Orléans..." and comments in note 16 on p20 "The incorrect date of birth is frequently indicated in studies on Boutet".(↑)