France

Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc and the Discovery of the Orion Nebula

Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc and the Discovery of the Orion Nebula

Around November 25, 1610, French astronomer and savant Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc “discovered” the Orion Nebula, a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion’s Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. “But see, Orion sheds unwholesome dews; Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse; Sharp Boreas blows, and nature feels decay, Time conquers all, and we must…
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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – A Giant in Art

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – A Giant in Art

On November 24, 1864, French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born. Toulouse-Lautrec – along with Cézanne, Van Gogh [4] and Gauguin [11] – is among the most well-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period. Although you might not be interested in art, for sure you will have heard about Henri Toulouse-Lautrec or you might have seen one of his paintings or famous posters. His artwork about the Fin de Siècle Paris and…
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Louis Antoine de Bougainville and his Voyage Around the World

Louis Antoine de Bougainville and his Voyage Around the World

Probably on November 11, 1729, French admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville was born. A contemporary of James Cook,[5] he gained fame for his expeditions, the first recorded settlement on the Falkland Islands and his voyages into the Pacific Ocean. The largest of the Solomon Islands is named after him, as is the colorful tropical climbing plant bougainvillaea. Louis Antoine de Bougainville – Early Years Louis Antoine de Bougainville was born in Paris on Rue Barre-du-Bec. His parents were…
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Albert Camus – the James Dean of Philosophy

Albert Camus – the James Dean of Philosophy

On November 7, 1913, French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher Albert Camus was born. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism in opposition to Nietzsche‘s nihilism [7] and Sartre‘s existentialism.[6] Albert Camus – Early Years In was somehow a miracle that Albert Camus became one of the finest writers of the 20th century and a Nobel laureate. Albert Camus was born in extreme poverty in a remote corner…
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Edvard Munch and the Munch Affair

Edvard Munch and the Munch Affair

On November 5, 1892, Norwegian painter and printmaker Edvard Munch evoked bitter controversy with his exhibition on behalf of the Union of Berlin Artists. Even though the exhibition was closed after only one week, the scandal made Munch highly famous. The event became later known as the ‘Munch Affair‘. “I was walking along a path with two friends — the sun was setting — suddenly the sky turned blood red — I…
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Jean-Rondolphe Perronet and the Bridges of Paris

Jean-Rondolphe Perronet and the Bridges of Paris

On October 27, 1708, French architect and structural engineer Jean-Rodolphe Perronet was born. He is best known for his many stone arch bridges, among them his most popular work, the Paris Pont de la Concorde. “Great bridges being monuments which serve to make known the grandeur and genius of a nation, we cannot pay too much attention to means for perfecting their architecture; this may be varied in treatment, but there must…
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Charles Joseph Minard and the Art of Infographics

Charles Joseph Minard and the Art of Infographics

On October 24, 1870, French civil engineer Charles Joseph Minard passed away. He is best noted for his ground breaking inventions in the field of information graphics. Charles Joseph Minard – Early Years Charles Joseph Minard was born on March 27, 1781, in Dijon, in the parish of Saint-Michel, France, as the son of Pierre Etienne Minard, a clerk of the court and an officer of the secondary school, and his wife…
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Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

On October 20, 1854, French poet Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was born. Rimbaud is known for his influence on modern literature and arts, prefiguring surrealism. As a poet, Rimbaud is well known for his contributions to symbolism and, among other works, for A Season in Hell, a precursor to modernist literature. “Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves.” – Arthur Rimbaud, The Drunken Boat (1871) Arthur Rimbaud – Family Background…
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The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

On October 1, 1842, French poet and inventor Charles Cros was born. He developed various improved methods of photography including an early color photo process. He also invented improvements in telegraph and paleophone technology. But lacking financial resources, he was unable to patent his devices before Thomas Edison and others developed the idea and started production. From the Telegraph to Color Photography Émile-Hortensius-Charles Cros was born in Fabrezan, Aude, France, 35km to the…
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Joseph Proust and the Law of Constant Composition

Joseph Proust and the Law of Constant Composition

On September 26, 1754, French chemist Joseph Louis Proust was born. He was best known for his discovery of the law of constant composition in 1799, stating that in chemical reactions matter is neither created nor destroyed. A Young Chemist Joseph L. Proust was born on September 26, 1754 in Angers, France as the second son of Joseph Proust, an apothecary, and Rosalie Sartre. Joseph studied chemistry in his father’s shop and later came to…
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