Charles-Edmond Duponchel

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Template:Distinguish2 Charles-Edmond Duponchel (born 7 April 1804 – last mention 1860) was a French military officer accountant, in which capacity he served in Spain and Algeria. In addition, he studied architecture. He has frequently been confused by later writers with his contemporary Henri Duponchel, at one time director of the Paris Opera, who also studied architecture and has often erroneously been referred to under Charles-Edmond Duponchel's name.[1]


Charles-Edmond Duponchel was one of two sons of Marie-Joseph-Désirée Ravet and entomologist Philogène-Auguste Duponchel. In 1823 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts, where he studied with the architects Pierre-Théodore Bienaimé (1765-1826) and Léon Vaudoyer (1803–1872).[2] He also joined the military in 1823 and served in the Spanish campaign that year. On 26 December 1855, in recognition of his long career in military service, he became a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.[3]

Charles-Edmond Duponchel authored a number of works which have been misattributed to the former director of the Opera. For instance, in 1860 he wrote several documents under the name Edmond Duponchel which concerned the relocation of the Paris Opera. In these he explained his reasoning and mentions that for practical advice he had gone to see "M. Duponchel [Henri Duponchel], former director of the Opera and certainly the man most competent at this juncture in matters concerning theatre construction, considering that he is at the same time a great administrator and a great artist".[4] He also prepared documents dealing with the Algerian question and proposals for barracks to accommodate troops, which have also been misattributed to the director of the Opera.[5]

Charles-Edmond's brother Auguste was chief medical officer of the École Polytechnique. He edited and wrote an introduction for the 12-volume Nouvelle bibliothèque des voyages anciens et modernes contenant la relation complète ou analysée des voyages de Christophe Colomb, Fernand Cortez,..., which was published in 1842. He died in October 1846 less than a year after the death of their father.[6]


  1. ^ Dion-Tenenbaum 1997, p. 71. The confusion of identities, resulting in Charles-Edmond Duponchel's first names being given to Henri Duponchel, was made early on. Vapereau 1858, p. 38, gives the incorrect name (as well the incorrect 1795 as the year of his birth), as does Larousse 1870, p. 1412. Incorrect first names have frequently and persistently been used by various authors, even quite recently. For example, Steven Huebner 1992 in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera and Kelly 2004, p. 172, identify the director of the Opera as Charles-Edmond Duponchel. Henri Duponchel's correct first name was determined as early as Ivor Guest's 1956 biography of Fanny Cerrito (see p. 117) and in his 1981 compilation of the correspondence of Arthur Saint-Léon.
  2. ^ For information about his father and brother Auguste, see "Duponchel, Philogène...". For his birth information, identity of mother and father, and architectural studies, see Dion-Tenenbaum 1997, p. 71, and p. 75, note 86, where she cites document AJ52237 in the Archives Nationales and Delaire 1907, p. 250 (architecture studies); see also the Notice d'autorité personne for Pierre-Théodore Bienaimé at BnF.
  3. ^ Bulletin des lois, partie supplémentaire, no. 249, decree no. 4071 (26 December 1855), p. 1212: "M. Duponchel (Charles-Edmond), officier comptable de première classe en retraite; teente[sic]-deux années de service et quatorze campagnes".
  4. ^ Dion-Tenenbaum 1997, p. 75 note 87, cites "Déplacement de l'Opéra" (by "Edmond Duponchel") in La Revue municipale et Gazette réunis, 10 March, 20 March, 1 April, 10 April, 20 May 1860, and provides the quote: "M. Duponchel, ancien directeur de l'Opéra et certainement l'homme le plus compétent de l'époque en matière d'édification de théâtre, attendu qu'il est à la fois grand administrateur et grand artiste". She also cites as another example: Duponchel 1860a.
  5. ^ Dion-Tenenbaum 1997, p. 75 note 88, cites a dossier of the Légion d'Honneur in the Archives Nationales. See also Duponchel 1860b.
  6. ^ See "Duponchel, Philogène..." and Smith & Duponchel 1842.
  • Delaire, E. (1907). 1793–1907: Les Architectes élèves de l'école des Beaux-Arts, second edition. Paris: Librairie de la Construction moderne. View at Google Books.
  • Dion-Tenenbaum, Anne (1997). "Multiple Duponchel", in Revue de l'Art, vol 116, pp. 66-75. ISSN 0035-1326.
  • Duponchel, Edmond (1860a). Déplacement de l'Opéra. Contre-projet par Edmond Duponchel, chevalier de la Légion d'honneur. Paris: Lévy fils. Notice bibliographique at BnF.
  • Duponchel, Edmond (1860b). 100,000 hommes en Algérie, projet de colonisation militaire, solution économique et pratique de la question algérienne, par un vieil Africain. Paris: W. Remquet. Notice bibliographique at BnF. View at Gallica.
  • "Duponchel, Philogène Auguste Joseph (1774-1846) et son fils Auguste". L'École des hautes études sciences sociales. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  • Guest, Ivor (1956). Fanny Cerrito: The Life of a Romantic Ballerina. London: Phoenix House. OCLC 4506387.
  • Guest, Ivor, editor (1981). Letters from a Ballet-Master: The Correspondence of Arthur Saint-Léon. London: Dance Books. ISBN 9780903102582.
  • Huebner, Steven (1992). "Duponchel, Charles (Edmond)" in Sadie 1992, vol. 1, p. 1279.
  • Kelly, Thomas Forrest (2004). First Nights at the Opera. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300100440.
  • Larousse, Pierre (1870). Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle, vol. 6. Paris. View at Internet Archive.
  • Sadie, Stanley, editor (1992). The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (4 volumes). London: Macmillan. ISBN 9781561592289.
  • Smith, William; Duponchel, Augustin, editor (1842). Nouvelle bibliotheque des voyages anciens et modernes, contenant la relation complète ou analysee des voyages de Christophe Colomb, Fernand Cortez, Pizarre, Anson, Byron, Bougainville, Cook,... (12 volumes). Paris: P.Duménil. OCLC 84584017. Notice bibliographique at BnF.
  • Vapereau, G. (1858). Dictionnaire universel des contemporains. Paris: Hachette. View at Internet Archive.

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