Jacques Marie Boutet

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Jacques Marie Boutet (25 March 1745 – 13 February 1812) was a French actor and comic dramatist from Lunéville. His pseudonym was Monvel. He was a small, thin man without good looks or voice, and yet he became one of the greatest comedians of his time.

Biography[edit]

After some years of apprenticeship in the provinces, he made his debut in 1770 at the Comédie-Française in Merope and Zenaide; he was received socitaire in 1772. For some unknown reason, Monvel secretly left Paris for Sweden in 1781, as the head of a troupe of French actors. He became reader to the king, a post which he held for several years. Until 1786, he was the director for the French theatre in Bollhuset and had a great importance for the development for the organisation of the native Swedish theater as the educator of the first Swedish actors for the Royal Dramatic Theatre, such as Fredrique Löwen, Lars Hjortsberg and Maria Franck, in the modern style of acting; among his troupe of French actors was Anne Marie Milan Desguillons, who was also to have a great importance to the theater-life in Sweden.

At the French Revolution he returned to Paris, embraced its principles with ardour, and joined the theatre in the rue Richelieu (the rival of the Comédie-Française), which, under Talma, with Dugazon, his sister Mme Vestris, Grandmesnil (1737-1816) and Mme Desgarcins, was soon to become the Théatre de la République.

After the Revolution, Monvel returned to the reconstituted Comédie-Française with all his old companions, but retired in 1807. Monvel was made a member of the Institute in 1795. He wrote six plays (four of them performed at the Comédie Francaise), two comedies, and fifteen libretti for comic operas, seven with music by N. Dezde (1740-1792)[citation needed], eight by Nicolas Dalayrac (1753-1809). He also published an historical novel, Fredgonde et Brunehaut (1776). He was professor of elocution at the Conservatoire.

In the 1780s Monvel fled France and went into a brief exile in Sweden after he was caught making sexual assignations with men in the gardens of the Tuileries.[1]

The actor's liaison with actress Jeanne-Marie-Marguerite Salvetat (aka Madame Mars cadette) produced one daughter, Anne-Françoise-Hippolyte Boutet Salvetat (known professionally as Mademoiselle Mars), who became a well-known actress.

References[edit]

  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  • Alf Henrikson: "Fram till Nybroplan" (towards Nybroplan) (In Swedish).
  • Georg Nordensvan: "Svensk teater och svenska skådespelare från Gustav III till våra dagar. first book 1772-1842" (Swedish theatre and Swedish actors from Gustav III to our days) (Swedish)
  1. ^ Jeffrey Merrick and Michael Sibalis, Homosexuality in French History and Culture, Volume 41, page 79