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Paul-Armand Silvestre (April 18, 1837 - February 19, 1901) , French poet and conteur, was born in Paris.
He studied at the École polytechnique with the intention of entering the army, but in 1870 he entered the department of finance. He had a successful official career, was decorated with the Legion of Honour in 1886, and in 1892 was made inspector of fine arts. Armand Silvestre made his entry into literature as a poet, and was reckoned among the Parnassians.
His volumes of verse include:
- Rimes neuves et vieilles (1866), to which George Sand wrote a preface
- Les Renaissances (1870)
- La Chanson des heures (1878)
- Le Chemin des etoiles (1885), etc.
The poet was also a contributor to Gil Blas and other Parisian journals, distinguishing himself by the licence he permitted himself. To these "absences" from poetry, as Henri Chantavoine calls them, belong the seven volumes of La Vie pour Tire (1881-1883), Conies pantagrueliques et galants (1884), Le Livre des joyeusetés (1884), Gauloiseries nouvelles (1888), &c.
For the stage he wrote in many different manners:
- Sapho (1881), a drama
- Henry VIII (1883), with Leonce Detroyat, music by Saint-Saëns; and the Drames sacres (1893), religious pictures after 14th- and 15th-century Italian painters, with music by Gounod.
An account of his varied and somewhat incongruous production is hardly complete without mention of his art criticism. Le Nu au Salon (1888-1892), in five volumes, with numerous illustrations, was followed by other volumes of the same type. He died at Toulouse on the 19th of February 1901.
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