Chénier, Marie-Joseph de

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Chénier, Marie-Joseph de


Born 1764 in Constantinople; died Jan. 10, 1811, in Paris. French dramatist, poet, and publicist. Brother of A. M. de Chénier. Member of the Académie Française (1803).

Chénier graduated from the Collège de Navarre in Paris. His tragedy Charles IX, or a Lesson to Kings (staged 1789, published 1790; later called Charles IX, or St. Bartholomew’s Eve) established revolutionary classicism in the French theater. During the French Revolution, Chénier was a Jacobin and a deputy to the National Convention. He was the author of many patriotic hymns for national festivals, including “Chant du 14 juillet” (1790) and “Chant du départ” (1794). A member of the moderate wing of the Jacobins, Chénier was opposed to revolutionary terror. After the revolution he remained faithful to his republican beliefs. A steadfast love of freedom pervades Chénier’s tragedies Philip II (1803) and Tiberius (1805), and also his verse satires, which circulated in manuscript copies.


Théâtre, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1797.
Théâtre, vols. 1–3. Paris, 1818.
Oeuvres, vols. 1–[8]. Paris, 1824–27.
In Russian translation:
“Stikhotvorenia.” In Pesni pervoi frantsuzskoi revoliutsii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Karl IX, ili Urok koroliam. In Frantsuzskii teatr epokhi Prosveshcheniia, vol. 2. Moscow, 1957.


Velikovskii, S. “Mari-Zhozef Shen’e—poet.” In his book Poety frantsuzskikh revoliutsii 1789–1848. Moscow, 1963.
Shor, V. “Mari Zhozef Shen’e.” In Pisateli Frantsii. Moscow, 1964.
Oblomievskii, D. Frantsuzskii klassitsizm. Moscow, 1968.
Lieby, A. Etude sur le théâtre de M. J. Chénier. Paris, 1901.