Notable local people

Albert Maignan was born at Beaumont sur Sarthe (1845 - 1908 à St Prix)

Albert Maignan (1845 à Beaumont-sur-Sarthe - 1908 à St Prix) - tourisme - sartheAlbert Maignan was born at Beaumont sur Sarthe in 1845.Albert Maignan- tourisme - Sarthe- Beaumont sur Sarthe

He studied at law school in Paris.
But his first visit to Venice in 1875 significantly influenced the rest of his life,
as his many paintings testify ; for example

« Frédéric Barberousse at the feet of the Pope »,
« Louis IX consoling  a leper »,
« Christ calling to the  afflicted ».

The sketches for  tapestries now hanging in
The Sénat at Paris were created by Albert Maignan.

You can also discover other paintings in the restaurant
« le Train Bleu » at the Gare de Lyon in Paris.

Albert Maignan donated a painting « Régina Siné Labo Concepta »
to the Town Council of Beaumont sur Sarthe.

This painting is now in the chapel of the Old People's Home.

He died at Saint Prix, near Paris, in 1908.

Georges Rouault (1871 à Paris - 1958 à Paris)

At the age of 14 he began an apprenticeship with a painter of stained-glass and in 1891 entered the school of Fine Arts en Paris,

Georges Rouault (1871 à Paris - 1958 à Paris) - tourisme - sarthe

in the studio of Gustave Moreau.
With fellow-artists Henri Matisse and Albert Marquet he helped to found the Salon d'Automne in 1903 and on the death of his former teacher he was appointed curator of the recently opened Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris.

From 1910 onwards dealers and collectors recognised his talent and his concept of


expressionism was studied and developed by a group of German artists.
The themes chosen by Rouault for his painting drew upon his critical observation of the society around him and study of human nature was central to his work. As a devout Catholic he saw the face of Christ in the suffering around him. From 1922-1927 he produced a series of black and white engravings entitled « Miserere ».
During the Second World War he came to live in Beaumont sur Sarthe. In 1948, considering them imperfect, he destroyed by fire 315 of his canvases (estimated to be worth more than 76 000€ at today's value) Nervetheless there is an important collection of his work at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou.



The Warrior du Guesclin (1320 - 1381)

Originating from the nobility of Brittany, he became a soldier at the age of 20 and attached himself to the service of the King of France around 1350. This was during a very active perriod of the Hundred Years War with the King of England and du Guesclin played a significant part in sieges and battles in the area around Beaumont and beyond.

At the end of 1360 he was taken prisoner but later released and continued his combats, rewarded by the king the rank of Constable in 1370 after his cunning strategies had achieved an important victory at Pontvallain, south of Le Mans. He them went on the chase the English to the Loire.

Norbert Bézard et Le Corbusier

Born in the Sarthe, at Loué in 1896, he moved to Piacé, north of Beaumont in 1924.

Like many other people in the aftermath of the Great War, 1914-18 he was actively interested in the redevelopment of life and work in the countryside.

Through the aid of his brother he was introduced to a circle of line-minded people in Paris, and here he also met the architect Le Corbusier with who he established a particular rapport and from whone he recived the support to develop a talent as a ceramist. On the initiative of Nobert Bézard is in principally remembered, however, for their umpressive project in the 1930's to build, on land at Piacé, «  La Ferme Radieuse » and «  Le village Co-operative ». The rough plans, written details, scale models and drawings were produced, but their dream was, alas, never realised. 


A veritable Renaissance polymath with an insatiable intellectual curiosity and immense ability, he trained first as a Franciscan monk. Later he became a Batchelor of Medecine, a humanist and satirist, publishing works on medecine, archaeology and, most memorably, a series of books featuring the giants « Pantagruel » and « Gargantua » which satirised many aspects of contemporary life and ideas. Thanks to aid given by him to important ecclesiastical and aristocratic connections he received the benefice of the church at St Christophe du Jambet. 

Ambroise de Loré (1396 - 1446)

Born at Oiseau le Petit ( between Beaumont and Alençon) shortly before another very active period of the Hundred Years War between the French and English monarchy, his first active service in this was at the Battle Agincourt in 1415, Following this he bacame an officier of the Dauphin's guard and in 1418, after fierce fighting against Henry V 's armies to regain possession of Fresnay sur Sarthe and Beaumont sur Sarthe he was made Captain by Duke of Alençon.

In 1429 Jeanne d'Arc entered into the conflict and Ambroise de Loré was giving the mission to conduct her to Blois and to take part in the siege of Orleans. Having acquitted himself valiantly in this task he was elevated to General.

While joining the French army regrouping near Beaumont in preparation for an attack on Fresnay sur Sarthe ( being held under siege at the time ) he was gravely wounded, but recovered and in 1436 took part in the liberation of Paris. His final rank was as Provost Marshal.

 Maréchal Leclerc (1902 - 1947)

Born Philippe de Hautecloque, he chose a military career, and distinguished service in French colonial conflicts had gained him the raule of captain by the beginning of the Second World War. After the fall of France to German occupation in June 1940 he followed General de Gaulle to London and was also engaged in desert warfare in Tunisia.

He landed in Normandy on 1st August 1944 in command of the 2nd Armoured Division (which later became called «  Leclerc's Division », even «  Leclerc's Army » or, by some «  Leclerc's Wolves ».)

He and his troops played a significant part in the Liberation of the North of the Sarthe in combat with the tanks of the retreating German Army, before continuing on the road to Paris and beyond.

In 1945 he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'Honneur.

 Théodore Boulard (1887 Le Mans - 1961 Saint Marceau)

If you would like to know more about what rural life was like in little corner of the Sarthe between the First and Second World Wars, you would do well to seek out the paintings of Théodore Boulard. For here are depicted, in colour and movement and vigour, the day to day activities and the traditional fêtes and customs of the time.

After studying at the School or Fine Art in Le Mans he became a teacher, first there and subsequently in several others parts of France, culminating in Paris. He was also a dedicated musician ; at the age of twelve he had won the first prize for violin at the Le Mans Conservatoire de Musique and he continued to play and to direct orchestras in adult life.

Inheriting a fascination for geometry from his father, a teacher of mathematics, the technical skill is an important element in the composition of his paintings.

Most importantly of all, he was deeply rooted in his origins, returning to them again and again, expressing his deep love for tem in his paintings large ans small.

For more visit :


 Marcel Jousse 1886 Beaumont, 1961


After a long and comprhensive youthful period of studies and teaching which included languages, theology, mathematics, philosophy and even artillery, he was ordained into the priesthood in 1912 and had entered the Jesuit order shortly before the First World War intervened.

He began military service as a lieutenant in an artillery regiment, but after being wounded in 1916, he returned to teaching-as an artillery instructor to American soldiers at Saumur and then in Noth Carolina.

returning to France in 1922 he embarked on a new, and what became an illustrious academic career, spanning the next 35 years. Through his specialised in anthropology, ethnology, psychology and linguistics he mixed with some of the best minds of the period who recognised his exceptional ability. He was encouraged to deliver a huge number of lectures at the Sorbonne and other schools of high academic study. Though he left some publised work, he centered on his belief that learning by oral methods was far superior to written teaching : he  had studied the cultures of many ethnic groups, noting how instruction was passed orally from one generation to another. He related this to his own early upbringing in a mainly rural community and at the end of his life returned to these roots and died in the family home at Fresnay sur Sarthe.



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