He was born in Dijon, then became a priest in the monastry of Langres Cathedral in 1547. He was heavily motivated by the Renaissance movement, he published many different works under the name of Thoinot Arbeau. Historians value ‘l’Orchésographie’ as the most important, which states: ‘Specfic instructions in speech format through which people can easily learn and perform the true dances’.In this work, he describes the war dance, the beats and calls which accompany marching soldiers and in combat similar to dances performed at the time. A famous composition is also found here, ‘Belle qui tiens ma vie’(the Beauty that holds my heart).Joseph Boillot Engraver (1545-1605)
He was an architect and engineer, he was known as master of repairs in the town of Langres, and responsable for salt stocks and gunpowder. A talented engraver on wood and brass, he contributed significantly to the development of the arts and particular philosophical ideas through the depiction of humans and animals. His works of intellect offer ‘new portraits and terms for use in architecture’, ‘artificial examples of fire and various war instruments and the ways to maintain them’ which brings together various fields of research: printing, engraving, history, architecture and symbolism.Les Tassels 3 Generations of Painters
Amongst the painters of Langres in the 17th century, the Tassel line remains at the forefront. Work took place in the art studio for over a century (1550-1670), characterised by 3 generations of artists: Pierre, his son Ricard and younger son Jean. A majority of their work features religious buildings of the region. Particular works are kept in the Langres Museum of Art and History, such as ‘Le Repos de Sainte-Famille’, ‘Le Martyre de Sainte Martine’ and ‘Mucius Scaevola devant Porcena’.
Claude Gillot Engraver (1673-1722)
A native of Langres, he had a great reputation as an engraver, painter and producer of ornaments, and illustrated works for Lully, Boileau and De La Motte. After studying in Paris, he took his place amongst the greats and later became the teacher for the illustrator Antoine Watteau. His works closely represent populaire scenes of allegory and mythology. In 1715, he was entered into the Royal Academy of painting and sculpture.
Denis Diderot Philosopher during the Enlightenment (1713-1784)
Denis Diderot is one of the most significant figures of the Enlightenment period. He was born in Langres on 5th October 1713, leaving for Paris at the young age of 15. He became the well-known profilic author: philosopher, satirist, novelist, playwright, art critic and principal editor of the encyclopedia and dictionary of the sciences, art and trade. The work of 35 volumes was the greatest venture ever achieved during his time. Since 1884 in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his death, a bronze sculpture was erected by the town, the work of Bartholdi, at the heart of the place where he was born. In the Museum of Art and History, many personal objects from this philosopher can be found , such as a cane and a ink-pot.
Andre Theuriet Writer (1813-1907)
A finance official and writer born in Marly Le Roi, André Theuriet was appointed to an administrative position in Auberive in 1856. In this green and calm valley, he found inspiration which provided many literary works. He affectionately describes the woods, the fields and the local population he was close to. His rising success brought him to the Somme, and later Paris. He received the distinguished ‘Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur’ in 1879 and the ‘Vittet’ prize from ‘l’Acadamie française’ in 1880.
Marcel Arland Literature specialist (1833-1907)
He was born in Varennes-sur-Amance on 5th July 1899. He became a novelist, literature critic and historian of literature. He wrote his first book in 1923 called ‘Terres and then became main editor of ‘Nouvelle Revue Française’ from 1968. He has works of many titles, among which are: ‘Âmes en peine’ (1927), ‘L’Orde’ (Prix Goncourt 1929), ‘Terre Natale’ (1938)…His works were then geared towards critical research, notably an article ‘Anthologie de la poésie française’ and many other works. After receiving awards such as ‘Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur et des Arts et Lettres’ the main prize from ‘l’Acadmie française’ in 1952 and the grand prize for ‘des Lettres’, Marcel Arland was elected into ‘l’Acadmie française’ in 1968.
Bernard Dimey Popular Poet (1931-1981)
Bernard Dimey, a well-known and popular poet, was born in Nogent-en-Bassigny on 16th July 1931. After his first appearances on radio he began to write for ‘Esprit’ review and developed an interest for painting under the pen-name Zelter. At the age of 25 he moved to live ‘la Butte Montmartre’ in Paris, he went to cafes along with other local people and artists, which went on to inspire his first poems. Many famous names went on to uncover his songs: Zizi Jeanmaire (Mon truc en plume), Henri Salvador (Syraceuse), Les Frères Jacques (Fredo, Le Quartier des Halles…), Sergio Reggiani (Si tu me payes une verre)… We owe many scenes and dialogues from cinema to Dimey: ‘Détournement des mineures (1959), by Walter Kapps, ‘Le Magot de Josepha’ (1964) by Claude Autant-Lara…Jules Ziegler Painter, Producer of Ceramics (1804-1856)
Jules-Claude Ziegler was born in Langres, where he received his first training in art, going on to become a painter of history and portraits. During his studies in Paris, he entered the art-studio with Ingres, who later became his teacher. After returning from a trip to Italy, he showed his real talents in the Louvre gaining great praise from critics with his work ‘Giotto dans l’atelier de Cimabue’ presented in the ‘Salon du Louvre’ in 1883. After that Thiers entrusted him to decorate the dome of Madeleine church in Paris. Much later Ziegler went on to dedicate himself to the study of cereamics and photography, but continued to send works to the studio, particularly ‘Daniel dans la fosse aux lions’ in 1838. At the end of his life , he was named head of ‘L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts’ in Dijon and also the museum in this city.Auguste Laurent Chemistry (1807-1853)
Auguste Laurent was born in La Folie, part of the community of Saint-Maurice. He was an engineer for ‘L’Ecole des Mines’ and dedicated his life to science. Despite the prejudices of his contemporaries, his decisions marked a decisive moment in the history of Chemistry. His methods of chemistry are seen as magnificient works by ‘L’Academie des Sciences’.
Camille Flammarion Astronomy (1842-1925)
It was in Montigny-Le-Roi where Camille Flammarion was born, he was a superior intellect in comparison to those of the same age. He liked to isolate himself in order to contemplate the concept of a infinite existance. He began his studies at the Langres cathedral, before meeting up again with his parents who lived in Paris. There he met Mr. Le Verrier, head of the Observatory. He had a great passion for astronomy and wrote many works and took part in many conferences…before becoming chairman of ‘la Société aérostatique de France’ in 1867. He released ‘Astronomie Populaire’ which was ‘a book for those who like to realise what is going on around them’. The work received the prize ‘Le Prix Monthyon de l’Académie des Sciences, and was edited by his brother Ernest who was founder of the house ‘Editon Flammarion’. He was able to make astronomy accessible to everyone and later founded ‘la Société astronomique de France’ and created the observatory in Juvisy-sur-Orge.Georges Darboy Archbishop of Paris (1813-1871)
Born in Fayl-Billot, Georges Darboy went to the ‘Petit Séminaire’ and then the ‘Grand Séminaire’ in Langres. He became an ordained priest in 1837 and went on to train in Saint-Dizier and then teach in Langres before rising to Paris stage. He was named vicar of the diocese in 1852, then bishop of Nancy and later archbishop of Paris in 1863. As a member of the ‘Conseil Supérieur de l’Instruction publique’ and chaplain to ‘l’Empereur’, he helped the ‘Concile Vatican I’ in 1869. In Paris he was taken prisoner as a hostage by anti-government revolutionaries and then shot on 24th May 1871 in retaliation for the execution of the national guards due to order of Versailles.
Louise Michel Revolutionary Anarchist (1830-1905)
He was born in Vroncourt-la-côte, and started her career as a teacher in the Haute-Marne region. With firmly rooted political ideas, she travelled to Paris and became involved in the revolutionary circles and supported the deprived. As a fanatic militant, she looked towards assinating Thiers and Napoleon III. She was sentenced to deportation for life and spend 2 years in the women’s central prison in Auberive, before being sent to a convict prison in Nouvelle-Calédonie. Sent back to France in 1880, the ‘Vierge rouge’ dedicated her life to militant action and gave up her belongings for the poor. After her attempted assination, she tried to acquit her attacker and went to London, then finally come back to France in 1895. Her works are varied: written documents, peoms, memoirs, in this way she kept a connection with Victor Hugo for more than 20 years. Jeanne Mance Co-Founder of Montreal (1606-1673)
Jeanne Meance, a strong-minded woman, was an outstanding person of the 17th century. She was born in Langres on 12th November 1606 and devoted herself to her family and her friends in order to face the war of the Thirties, the plague and miscontent. She was in contact with the Jesuit religion in the city, and left in 1640 as she was needed at home. She boarded at La Rochelle with some other companions and got off in Saint-Laurent. The city of Montreal was founded originally with the name ‘Ville-Maire’. As a nurse, bursar and deputy to the governer Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve. She put her talents to great use by helping the French and the Americans. Throughout the creation of this ‘Hôtel-Dieu’ and her 3 trips to France, she was an active contributer to the success of this ‘mad undertaking’. As a free spirit she remains an idol among contemporary feminists in North America.