Beaumarchais, Pierre-Augustin Caron de

Beaumarchais, Pierre-Augustin Caron de
born Jan. 24, 1732, Paris, France
died May 18, 1799, Paris

French playwright.

Son of a watchmaker, he invented a clockwork mechanism and became embroiled in lawsuits over its patent; a series of witty pamphlets he wrote in his defense established his reputation as a writer. His comedy The Barber of Seville (1772) was kept off the stage for three years because it criticized the aristocracy. His Marriage of Figaro (1784) similarly censured the nobility and it, too, was initially banned. The plays became famous operas by Gioacchino Rossini and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, respectively. He founded the Société des Auteurs (1777) to enable playwrights to obtain royalty payments. His wealth led, ironically, to his temporary imprisonment during the French Revolution, an event his plays were sometimes said to have sparked.

Pierre Beaumarchais, oil painting by Jean-Marc Nattier.

Giraudon
Art Resource

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▪ French author
born Jan. 24, 1732, Paris, France
died May 18, 1799, Paris
 French author of two outstanding comedies of intrigue that still retain their freshness, Le Barbier de Séville (1775; The Barber of Seville, 1776) and Le Mariage de Figaro (1784; The Marriage of Figaro, 1785).

      Although Beaumarchais did not invent the type character of the scheming valet (who has appeared in comedy as far back as Roman times), his Figaro, hero of both plays, became the highest expression of the type. The valet's resourcefulness and cunning were portrayed by Beaumarchais with a definite class-conscious sympathy. Le Barbier de Séville became the basis of a popular opera by the Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini. The second play, which inspired W.A. Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro (1786), is openly critical of aristocratic privilege and somewhat anticipates the social upheavals of the Revolution of 1789.

      Beaumarchais's life rivals his work as a drama of controversy, adventure, and intrigue. The son of a watchmaker, he invented an escapement mechanism, and the question of its patent led to the first of many legal actions. For his defense in these suits he wrote a series of brilliant polemics (Mémoires), which made his reputation, though he was only partly successful at law.

      After 1773, because of his legal involvements, Beaumarchais left France on secret royal missions to England and Germany for both Louis XV and Louis XVI. Despite growing popularity as a dramatist, Beaumarchais was addicted to financial speculation. He bought arms for the American revolutionaries and brought out the first complete edition of the works of Voltaire. Of his dramatic works, only his two classic comedies were to have lasting success. Because of his wealth, he was imprisoned during the French Revolution (in 1792), but, through the intervention of a former mistress, he was released.

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Universalium. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Beaumarchais, Pierre-Augustin-Caron de — (1732 1799)    playwright    Born in Paris, the son of a watchmaker, Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais began his career as a music teacher to the daughter of King louis XV. In 1756, he married and took the name of the widow of a court… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Beaumarchais,Pierre Augustin Caron de — Beau·mar·chais (bō mär shāʹ), Pierre Augustin Caron de. 1732 1799. French writer whose best known works are the comic plays Le Barbier de Séville (1775) and Le Mariage de Figaro (1784), which inspired operas by Rossini and Mozart. * * * …   Universalium

  • Beaumarchais, Pierre-Augustin Caron de — ► (1732 99). Dramaturgo francés. Cultivó el drama (Los dos amigos, 1770; La madre culpable, 1792), pero sus obras consideradas maestras son El barbero de Sevilla (1775) y Las bodas de Fígaro (1778), convertidas en óperas con música de Rossini y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron de —  (1732–1799) French playwright whose works inspired The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Pierre-augustin caron de beaumarchais — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Caron et Beaumarchais. Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Caron et Beaumarchais. Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pierre augustin caron de beaumarchais — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Caron et Beaumarchais. Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais — [ˈpjɛʀ ogysˈtɛ̃ kɑˈʀõ də bomaʀˈʃɛ] (* 24. Januar 1732 in Paris; † 18. Mai 1799 ebenda) war ein französischer Unternehmer und Schriftsteller. Er ist vor allem bekannt als der Autor einer der meistgespielten französischen Komödien, La folle journée …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Caron et Beaumarchais (homonymie). Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais — [ˈpjɛʀ ogysˈtɛ̃ kɑˈʀõ də bomaʀˈʃɛ] (* 24. Januar 1732 in Paris; † 18. Mai 1799 ebenda) war ein französischer Unternehmer und Schriftsteller. Er ist vor allem bekannt als der Autor von La Folle Journée ou le Mariage de Figaro „Der tolle Tag oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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