Rue Dupuytren

Arrondissement 6

Number 7

No 7 rue Dupuytren is where Louise Michel opened a girls’ industrial art school weeks before the Paris Commune was crushed.

A short street now full of hair salons, in May 1871 it was where Louise Michel organised a school to teach young women draftsmanship, industrial art. It had previously been the girl’s school annex of the free Royal Decorative Arts School, next to the old Cordeliers Monastery, where girls had been taught only four skills: drawing figures, ornaments, animals and flowers.

The road was named by a decree on 9 April 1851 under the Prince-President Louis Napoleon. He gave the nod to the skilled surgeon who successfully treated his uncle’s haemorrhoids. Guillaume Dupuytren had also subsequently served the last Bourbon kinds, Louis XVIII and Charles X. Louis XVIII have him the hereditary title of Baron. He was the surgeon who attempted, unsuccessfully, to save the life of Charles’ son, the Duc de Berry, the third in line to the French throne, after he was knifed at the Opera in February 1820.

Baron Guillaume Dupuytren (1777-1835) treated haemorrhoids for Napoleon Bonaparte, amassing a fortune in the process

In 1832, when cholera was sweeping France and Paris in particular, Louis-Philippe added to his honours collection. Thanks to his 10,000 annual consultations he was then one of the richest men in France and his daughter Adeline married one of the pretenders to the Imperial throne, Louis Napoléon Bonnin de La Bonninière, Comte de Beaumont. 

The free-mason and atheist surgeon also gave his name to the ‘bent finger’ or ‘Vikings’ disease I’ve already had three operations to straighten out. His article about the disease was published in the Lancet in 1834. Its highest incidence is in Iceland, but 10% of Norwegian men and 3% of Norwegian women also have the ‘contracture’.

The rue Dupuytren leads up to one of Paris’ amazing 17th century carved doors in rue Monsieur le Prince.

The short road was the site of an attack by resistance fighters attached to the FTP-MOI on a German patrol in March-April 1943. The three men linked to the attack were Wolf Wajsbrot, Thomas Elek and Marcel Rajman, one of its leaders, who was shot aged 20 in February 1944.

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