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Famous people from Montauban

Many people have shaped the town of Montauban as it is today. They have marked history with their presence and their actions. Here are the famous Montalbanais and their stories.
Ingres and Bourdelle

The two artists have marked the history of art and their names are now linked to a must-see, the Ingres Bourdelle museum.

Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres

1780 – 1860

The last of the French neoclassical painters, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres is the inventor of an atypical, mannerist, feminine beauty canon which made her famous. His masterpiece is La Grande Odalisque (1814), inscribed as much in the history of Orientalism as in the tradition of the great masters of Western painting. Skillful designer, admirer of Raphael and follower of the pure line, Ingres was of such influence that one speaks of “ingrism” or of “ingresque period” when other artists, such Pablo Picasso, came to sorrow. ‘inspire in his own way. His passion and talent for the violin inspired the phrase “having an Ingres violin”.

Antoine Bourdelle


Born in Montauban at 6 rue de l’Hotel de Ville, a stone’s throw from the museum which now bears his name, Antoine Bourdelle revealed an early disposition to drawing and sculpture at the age of 13. A student of the sculptor Falguière at the Beaux Arts in Paris, Bourdelle quickly became a practitioner in Rodin’s studio and worked with the Master for 15 years. His most outstanding work is Héraclès archer (1910), whose original plaster is on display at the Ingres Bourdelle museum in Montauban. 13 sculptures by the artist can be freely discovered in the city center. The art of Bourdelle is also recognized in Paris with the Bourdelle museum and a Garden-Museum in Egreville (77). For the nostalgic, Bourdelle also inspired the brand of notebooks for schoolchildren “Héraklès”.

Olympe de Gouges

Marie Gouze, known as Olympe de Gouges


Olympe de Gouges was born in 1748 in Montauban in a bourgeois environment. Widowed after being married against her will, she moved to Paris at 22. Her play The Slavery of the Blacks or the Happy Shipwreck, in which she denounces slavery, is scandalous. She writes other plays, but also novels, essays and pamphlets in which she develops her political thought. In 1791, she published the Declaration of the Rights of Women and Citizens, which she addressed to Marie-Antoinette. She joins the Girondins, who oppose the beheading of the king and the violence of the Terror. She died guillotined in 1793.


Hugues Panassié


Hugues Panassié is a French jazz critic and producer. A pioneer in the development of jazz in France, he was an admirer of the early forms of jazz, the “hot” style, as played by Louis Armstrong in the 1930s and all musicians and singers of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. S ‘he contributed extensively to the documentation of the early days of jazz, his ideas, however, are controversial. His traditionalism thus led him to consider bebop as a form of music distinct from jazz, vigorously rejecting it as “non-authentic” music, sparking much controversy and a split from the Hot Club de France.

Marcel Lenoir


Marcel-Lenoir is a true artist, he is at the same time a jeweler, draftsman, painter, and fresco artist. In 1889, at the age of 17, Marcel-Lenoir, on the advice of his father, headed for Paris. After a period of misery, around 1900, he experienced his first successes and became the illuminator Marcel-Lenoir. A complex, bewitching character, fiercely independent, incapable of compromising with criticism and the art market, today he owes his success only to the intrinsic quality of his work. A museum dedicated to his works can be discovered in Montricoux (82).



French painter, sculptor, and lithographer. Marked by the horrors of the First World War, he entered the Decorative Arts in Paris and exhibited a first series of color lithographs. Influenced by Fauvist painters like Gauguin, he spent most of his life in the Eastern Pyrenees and in particular Saint-Cyprien, a town to which he bequeathed most of his works upon his death. The Saint-Cyprien Collections can be visited today with the famous painter as a figurehead.


1941 - 2004

Étienne Roda-Gil was an author of over 747 songs. Julien Clerc, France Gall and Vanessa Paradis owe their greatest success to him. He is notably the lyricist of Alexandria, Alexandra, arguably Claude François’s greatest hit.

Recognized in the world of French song, it will have marked the cultural heritage of certain masterpieces. Juliette Gréco said of him: “I quickly understood that he was a human being, which is not so often”.

These heroes who marked the history of the city

Adolphe Poult


Son of the boss of the Montalbanese biscuit factory Poult, the young Adolphe distinguished himself during the so-called “century” flood, in March 1930. With his courage alone, he saved, aboard a simple canoe on the flooded Tarn. , dozens of people drowning. After an almost full day of saving lives, it was during one of these rescues that Adolphe Poult stumbled in the tumultuous waves and was unable to return to his boat. He drowned at the age of 34. A square bears his name in Montauban, where a bust pays homage to him


1932 - 2019

Janine Garrisson is a historian, professor of modern history and French novelist, specializing in 16th century French political and religious history, and in particular Protestantism.

The majority of his research has focused on Protestantism in France. In particular, we owe her a state thesis, Protestants du Midi: 1559-1598, defended in 1977. She received the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres distinction.


1974 - 2007

Caroline Aigle is a fighter pilot, Commander in the French Air Force. She is the first female fighter pilot to be posted to an Air Force combat squadron.

Accomplished sportsman and emeritus pilot, the City of Montauban paid tribute to her by installing a helicopter on a roundabout at the gates of the city.