Edmond de Goncourt

(1822—1896) Edmond de and Jules de, French novelists and critics

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(b Nancy, 26 May 1822; d Champrosay, 16 July 1896) and

(b Paris, 17 Dec. 1830; d Paris, 20 June 1870).

French writers, brothers, who worked in close collaboration. They wrote on various artistic topics, their most important work of criticism being a book made up of a collection of articles, L'Art du dix-huitième siècle (1875), which helped to revive the reputation of 18th-century French artists such as Watteau. The brothers inherited a substantial fortune when their aristocrat mother died in 1848, and their lives were divided between writing and self-indulgence; the Journal that they began in 1851, and which Edmond continued after Jules died until his own death, provides a richly detailed record of Paris in the second half of the 19th century. Edmond's books on Utamaro (1891) and Hokusai (1896) helped to popularize Japanese art (see Ukiyo-e). The brothers also wrote novels and painted. The Académie Goncourt, founded under Edmond's will, is a body of ten men or women of letters that awards an annual prize (the Prix Goncourt) for imaginative prose.

Subjects: Literature.

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Works by Edmond de Goncourt