Yves Bonnefoy

1995 Balzan Prize for Art History and Art Criticism

His work as an art critic and historian, inseparable from an important body of poetic work, has contributed in a exceptional way to the understanding of the current situation of art. In his comparative studies on the function of poetry, his interpretations have profoundly renewed the reasons for which we feel attached to the great art works of the past.

Yves Bonnefoy was born on June 24, 1923 in Tours (Jndre-et-Loire); he is a French citizen;

Professor at the Collège de France, Chair of Comparative Studies of Poetic Function (1981-93);

since 1960, he has taught at various American universities such as Brandeis, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Yale, City University of New York, arid Williams College; he has also taught in Europe as Associate

Professor or Guest Professor, in the universities of Vincennes, Geneva, Nice, Aix-Marseille, amongst other engagements;

Honorary Degrees from the universities of Neuchâtel(1987) and Chicago (1988), the American College of Paris (1987), the Trinity College – University of Dublin (1992) and the University of Edinburgh (1995); he has received many awards, among them, the Prix des Critiques (1971), the Montaigne Prize (1978), the Grand Prix de Poésie from the French Academy (1981), the Grand Prix of the Societé des Gens de Lettres (1987), the Bennett Award, New York (1988), the Grand Prix National de Poésie (1993) and the Prix Del Duca, Paris (1995).



— Du mouvement et de l’immobilité de Douve, Mercure de France, 1953;

— Hier régnant désert, Mercure de France, 1958;

— Pierre écrite, Mercure de France, 1965;

— Dans le leurre du seuil, Mercure de France, 1975;

— Poèmes (1947-75), Mercure de France, 1978 (coll. Poésie/Gallimard, 1982);

— Ce qui fut sans lumière, Mercure de France, 1987;

— Début et fin de la neige, suivi de Là où retombe la flèche, Mercure de France, 1991;

— La Vie errante, suivi de Une autre époque de l’écriture, Mercure de France, 1993.

Essays, tales:

— L’improbable, Mercure de France. 1959:

— Arthur Rimbaud, Le Seuil, 1961;

— Un révefait à Mantoue, Mercure de France, 1967;

— L’Arrière-Pays, ill., coll. Les Sentiers de la création, Albert Skira, Genève, 1972; Flammarion, 1992;

— L’Ordalie, Galerie Maeght, 1974;

— Le Nuage rouge, Mercure de France, 1977;

—Rue Traversière, Mercure de France, 1977;

—La Présence et l’Image, Mercure de France, 1983;

— Récits en rêve, Mercure de France, 1987;

— La Vérité de parole, Mercure de France, 1988;

— Entretiens sur la poésie, Mercure de France, 1990

Among his numerous works dedicated to Art criticism and Art history, wefind:

— Peintures murales de la France gothique, Paul Hartmann, 1954;

— Rome 1630. L’Horizon du premier baroque, Flammarion, Paris, 1970; nouvelle édition augmentée, 1994;

— Sur un sculpteur et des peintres, Plon, 1989;

—Alberto Giacometti, biographie d’une uvre, iii., Flammarion, Paris, 1991;

— Remarques sur le dessin, Mercure de France, 1993;

— Ecrits sur l’art et livres aver les artistes, Flammarion, Paris, 1993;

— Palézieux, en collaboration avec Florian Rodari, Albert Skira, Genève, 1994;

— Roma 1630. Il trionfo del pennello. Collaboration au catalogue de l’exposition de la Villa Medici, Rome, Electa, Milan, 1994;

— La journée d’Alexandre Hollan, Le temps qu’il fait, Cognac, 1995;

— Dessin, couleur et lumière, Mercure de France, 1995;

— The Lure and the Truth of Painting, Selected Essays on Art, publié avec une introduction et une postface de Richard Stamelman, The University of Chicago Press, 1995.


Yves Bonnefoy has translated the following works of Shakespeare into French: Henry IV(I), Julius

Caesar, Hamlet, The Winter’ s Tale, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece,

The Phoenix and the Turtle.

He has also published Quarante-cinq poèmes de Yeats, followed by Résurrection, Herrniann, 1989.

(October 1995)

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