(pseudonym of Marie Francçise Marchand). Born Jan. 2, 1713, in Paris; died there Feb. 20, 1802. French actress.

Dumesnil made her stage debut in the provinces and then from 1737 to 1776 performed in the Comédie-Française in Paris. Her portrayals of “tragic mothers” in Voltaire’s Merope and Semiramis were humanistic. Dumesnil conveyed the conflict between love of power and the laws of humanity in her performances as Cleopatra in Corneille’s Rodogune and Athalie in Racine’s Athalie. She was effective in both high comedies and sentimental comedies; her roles included the Governess in La Chaussée’s The Governess and Madame Vanderk in Sedaine’s The Married Philosopher. An inspired, intuitive, and impulsive actress, Dumesnil attracted large audiences. She was instrumental in preparing the way for enlightened reforms in the French theater. Despite the realistic tendencies of her performances, she did not depart from conventional classical style. Dumesnil’s memoirs, published under her name but written by Coste d’Arnoba, contain a defense against attacks by her stage rival, Clairon.


Memoires de M.-F. Dumesnil. Hamburg, 1799.


Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra. Edited by S. S. Mokul’skii, vol. 2. Moscow, 1957.


References in periodicals archive ?
Jeannesson-Thivisol E, Feillet F, Chery C, Perrin P, Battaglia-Hsu SF, Herbeth B, Cano A, Barth M, Fouilhoux A, Mention K, Labarthe F, Arnoux JB, Maillot F, Lenaerts C, Dumesnil C, Wagner K, Terral D, Broue P, de Parscau L, Gay C, Kuster A, Bedu A, Besson G, Lamireau D, Odent S, Masurel A, Gueant JL, Namour F.
Barbara Dumesnil, who was recently named Lane County Master Gardener of the Year, says she has to spend time outdoors or else.
Eventually family issues led to the end of their friendship, following the marriage of Alfred Dumesnil, the widower of Michelet's daughter, to Louise Reclus, Reclus's sister and the tutor of Dumesnil's daughters.
Young Artist Composition: Charlotte Dumesnil, Oklahoma; Thomas Lanners, teacher
Levine RA, Hung J, Otsuji Y, Messas E, Liel-Cohen N, Nathan N, Handschumacher Magne J, Senechal M, Dumesnil JG, Pibarot P (2009) Ischemic mitral regurgitation: a complex multifaceted disease.
2) Denis Diderot en su conocida obra La paradoja del comediante, escrita entre 1773 y 1777 y publicada finalmente en 1830, hace constantes referencias a las formas de interpretar el personaje de conocidos artistas de la epoca como David Garrick, Clair Josephe Hippolyte Leris (mas conocida como La Clairon) o Marie-Francoise Dumesnil, estableciendo las bases para una teoria cientifica de la interpretacion.
Zoghbi WA, Chambers JB, Dumesnil JG, Foster E, Gottdiener JS, Grayburn PA, et al.