Bournonville, Auguste, 1805-79, Danish dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Bournonville studied in Copenhagen with his father Antoine, the ballet master, and in Paris with Auguste Vestris. He joined the Royal Danish Ballet in 1828. As soloist and, after 1848, as choreographer of more than 61 works, he developed a distinctive romantic style and precision of technique. His surviving dance works include a version of La Sylphide and The Dancing School.

See K. Ravlow, ed., The Bournonville School (1979).

Laurent, Auguste, 1808-53, French organic chemist. He devised a systematic nomenclature for organic chemistry. His studies on naphthalene and its chlorination products led him to propose a nucleus theory that foreshadowed modern structural chemistry; he proposed that the structural grouping of atoms within molecules determined how the molecules combined in organic reactions. This theory conflicted with the then current notion that the product of organic reactions depended solely on the electrical charge of the atoms involved. His theory greatly influenced the theory of types proposed by J. B. Dumas and C. F. Gerhardt.
Piccard, Auguste, 1884-1962, Swiss physicist, b. Basel. He became a professor at the Univ. of Brussels in 1922. He and his twin brother Jean Felix (d. 1963) are known for their balloon ascents into the stratosphere; in Aug., 1932, Auguste ascended to 55,500 ft (16,916 m). He was a collaborator with Albert Einstein in developing instruments for measuring radioactivity. From 1946 he focused on the ocean depths, making several notable dives with his son, Jacques Piccard, 1922-2008, off the African and Italian coasts in a bathyscaphe of his own design. In 1960 Jacques Piccard, with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Donald Walsh, descended to 35,800 ft (10,912 m) in the Marianas Trench. Jacques's son Jacques Piccard, 1958-, is also a balloonist; in Mar., 1999, he and Briton Brian Jones became the first to circle the earth nonstop, in the Breitling Orbiter 3. They wrote Around the World in 20 Days (1999). With Jones he wrote Around the World in 20 Days (1999) about the flight.
Sabatier, Auguste, 1839-1901, French Protestant theologian. He was professor (1867-72) of reformed dogmatics at Strasbourg, and from 1877 until his death he was a member of the Protestant theological faculty of the Sorbonne, Paris. Sabatier became noted as a liberal theologian, stressing the subjective, symbolic nature of religious knowledge and the need for continual revision of religious dogmas in the light of personal experience. Among English translations of his works are The Apostle Paul (1891), Religion and Modern Culture (1897), Outlines of a Philosophy of Religion (1897), and Religions of Authority and the Religion of the Spirit (1904).

See T. Silkstone, Religion, Symbolism and Meaning (1968).

Beernaert, Auguste, 1829-1912, Belgian statesman. A member of the liberal wing of the Catholic party, he served in several cabinets and was premier from 1884 to 1894. Beernaert promoted electoral reform and legislation to improve labor conditions. He was a delegate to the Hague Peace conferences (1899, 1907), and he shared the 1909 Nobel Peace Prize with Estournelles de Constant.
Comte, Auguste, 1798-1857, French philosopher, founder of the school of philosophy known as positivism, educated in Paris. From 1818 to 1824 he contributed to the publications of Saint-Simon, and the direction of much of Comte's future work may be attributed to this association. Comte was primarily a social reformer. His goal was a society in which individuals and nations could live in harmony and comfort. His system for achieving such a society is presented in his Cours de philosophie positive (1830-42; tr. The Course of Positive Philosophy, 1896 ed.). In this work Comte analyzes the relation of social evolution and the stages of science. He sees the intellectual development of man covered by what is called the Law of the Three Stages—theological, in which events were largely attributed to supernatural forces; metaphysical, in which natural phenomena are thought to result from fundamental energies or ideas; and positive, in which phenomena are explained by observation, hypotheses, and experimentation. The sciences themselves are classified on the basis of increasing complexity and decreasing generality of application in the ascending order: mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and sociology. Each science depends at least in part on the science preceding it; hence all contribute to sociology (a term that Comte himself originated). A sociology developed by the methods of positivism could achieve the ends of harmony and well-being which Comte desired. Another work, Le Système de politique positive (1851-54; tr. System of Positive Polity, 1875-77), placed religion above sociology as the highest science; it was, however, a religion shorn of metaphysical implications, with humanity as the object of worship. For a modern edition of part of this work see A General View of Positivism (1957). Important among his other writings are Catechisme positiviste (1852, tr. 1858) and Synthèse subjective (1856). Published posthumously were his Testament (1884) and his letters (1902-05).

See F. S. Marvin, Comte, the Founder of Sociology (1937, repr. 1965).

Rodin, Auguste, 1840-1917, French sculptor, b. Paris. He began his art study at 14 in the Petite École and in the school of Antoine Barye, earning his living by working for an ornament maker. In 1863 he went to work for the architectural sculptor A. E. Carrier-Belleuse, who had a great influence on him. From 1870 to 1875 he continued in the same trade in Brussels and then briefly visited Italy. In the Salon of 1877 he exhibited a nude male figure, The Age of Bronze (1876; Paris). It was both extravagantly praised and condemned; his critics unjustly accused him of having made a cast from life. From the furor Rodin gained the active support and patronage of Turquet, undersecretary of fine arts. His Age of Bronze and St. John (1878) were purchased for the Luxembourg Gardens, Paris.

The government gave him a studio in Paris, where he worked the rest of his life with growing fame. From 1880 on Rodin worked intermittently on studies for a huge bronze door for the Musée des Arts décoratifs. It was inspired by Dante's Inferno and was to be called the Gate of Hell. He never finished it. Among the 186 figures intended for it are Adam and Eve (1881; Metropolitan Mus.), The Thinker (1879-1900), and La Belle Heaulmière (both: Paris). These, together with his group The Burghers of Calais (Calais), completed in 1894, are among his most famous creations.

Other ambitious works are his monuments to Balzac (1897; Paris) and to Victor Hugo (1909; Paris). Rodin is also known for his drawings, his many fine portrait busts, and his figures and groups in marble, such as Ugolino (1882), Danaïd (1885), The Kiss (1886), and The Hand of God (1897-98) in the Rodin Museum, Paris, and Pygmalion and Galatea and The Bather in the Metropolitan Museum, N.Y.C. He is best represented in the Rodin museums of Paris and Philadelphia, but fine examples of his work are included in many public collections throughout the world.

Rodin's work is generally considered the most important contribution to sculpture of his century, although some recent critical opinion has found his allegorical works pretentious. Realistic in many respects, it is nevertheless imbued with a profound, romantic poetry. The Gothic, the dance, and the works of Dante, Baudelaire, and Michelangelo were major sources of inspiration. Rodin considered his work completed when it expressed his idea, and as a result his sculpture is varied in technique; some is polished, some is gouged and scraped, and some seems scarcely to have emerged from the rough stone. He worked long over his more important works, returning to them again and again but without injuring their essential vitality.


See biographies by F. Grunfeld (1987) and R. Butler (1993); studies by R. M. Rilke (1902 and 1907, rev. tr. 2004), S. Story (rev. ed. 1966), A. E. Elsen (1963, repr. 1967), R. Descharnes and J. F. Chabrun (tr. 1967), I. Jainu (1967), Y. Taillandier (1967), C. Lampert (1987), K. Varnedoe (2001), and A. E. Eisen (2003).

Perret, Auguste, 1874-1954, French architect. He left the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris to join the family construction firm with his brother Gustave, and began to experiment with the new building material, reinforced concrete. Early works in Paris, such as the house on the rue Franklin (1902-3), the Garage Ponthieu (1905-6), and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (1910-11), show the use of reinforced concrete in a classicizing framework of posts and beams. In the latter two buildings the concrete frame is itself exposed in some areas. Perret's famous church at Le Raincy, near Paris (1922-23), is perhaps the first architecturally satisfactory building in the new material. Tall, lithe columns support low-arching vaults, and the structure is surrounded by a continuous wall of glass supported by prefabricated concrete units. In warehouses and factories Perret also made use of concrete vaulting. After World War II he contributed plans for the rebuilding of parts of Le Havre, Amiens, and Marseilles. He is considered one of the most important French architects of his generation.

See P. Collins, Concrete: The Vision of a New Architecture (1959).

Auguste-Louis-Albéric, prince d'Arenberg (15 September 183724 January 1924) was a French noble and monarchist politician. Third son of Pierre d'Alcantara Charles Marie, duc d'Arenberg and Alix de Talleyrand-Périgord, he inherited his father's title because of his older brothers' premature deaths. He was noted for his great wealth and extensive properties throughout France, in particular at Menetou-Salon (Cher).

Arenberg served in the Chamber of Deputies from 1877 to 1881. He was elected as the official candidate of the MacMahon government, winning the poll due to the abstention of republican voters disenchanted with his predecessor. In the Chamber, he took his place among the members of the monarchist Right, voting consistently with the conservatives, including against the legalization of divorce.

Returned to parliament as a monarchist candidate again in 1889, Arenberg continued his opposition to republican government. After Rerum novarum and Pope Leo XIII's recognition of the Third Republic, however, Arenberg recast himself, running in 1893 as a "liberal republican". In the Chamber, he concentrated on colonial issues, in particular those concerning Africa; among his projects were securing free navigation of the Niger River and delineating Anglo-French colonial boundaries.

Defeated in the 1902 elections and failing to secure reelection again in 1906, Arenberg retired from politics, but remained active in public life. He was the first president of the procolonial Comité de l'Afrique française and remained active in the organization until his death. A convinced Catholic himself, in 1895 he was one of the organizers of a failed attempt to build a mosque in Paris through private donations. From 1896 he was also president of the Compagnie universelle du canal maritime de Suez, and he was a member of the Institut de France (Académie des beaux-arts) from 1897.

Born in Paris, Arenberg was married to Jeanne Marie Louise de Greffulhe there on 18 June 1868. He had four children:


  • Jolly, Jean, dir. Dictionnaire des parlementaires français: Notices biographiques sur les ministres, députés et sénateurs français de 1889 à 1940. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1960–70.
  • Robert, Adolphe, Edgar Bourloton, and Gaston Cougny, dirs. Dictionnaire des parlementaires français, comprennant tous les membres des assemblées françaises et tous les ministres français depuis le 1er mai 1789 jusqu'au 1er mai 1889, avec leurs noms, état civil, état de services, actes politiques, votes parlementaires, etc. 5 vols. Paris: Bourloton, Éditeur, 1891.
  • Theroff, Paul. An Online Gotha


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