Tuesday, 14 October 2008


DWS Gray has sent this note which refers to the previous post.

"I want to attack your reference to "Paul" Gavarni. He never had the name of "Paul" until the great Thieme-Becker lexicon endowed him with it. His civil name was Sulpice Guillaume Chevallier. His 'nom-de-guerre' (French for English 'nom-de-plume'!) was Gavarni, a single word with no other given name. The French tradition with noms-de-guerre is to use a single name, with no other name - as in Molière, Voltaire, Alain (a 20C philosopher). The Goncourt biography of their close personal friend Gavarni, published first in 1870 one year after his death, never mentions a Paul. Nor does the 2-volume Lemoisne biography published in 1925. Unfortunately, ever since the Thieme-Becker volume including Gavarni was published, more and more people refer to him with this name. I have not seen a French source using it, but I have seen it in the internet and in Wikipedia. They are all wrong. His name was never Paul."

"Thieme-Becker" refers to
Thieme, Ulrich and Felix Becker. Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. 37 volumes. Leipzig: Engelmann/Seemann, 1907-50.

Humble apologies for repeating an error. (PQ)