Did you know that Moliere’s chair can be seen at the Comédie-Française ? The one in which he played his ultimate “Malade Imaginaire” and in which he died a few hours later.

a patient not so imaginary

On February 7, 1673, at the Palais-Royal theater in Paris, “Le Malade imaginaire” was performed. The curtain rises, an armchair occupies the stage. There sits a man, immersed in reading prescriptions: Argan, the hypochondriac, played by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin dit Molière. His make-up gives him a rosy complexion, but the pain from which he suffers is nothing imaginary. Suffering from tuberculosis, the playwright refused to cancel the performance, he coughs up blood, convulses. He will die a few hours later at home.

moliere armchair in paris

Only Charlie Chaplin has had the right to touch It

Symbol of the passion for the theater, Molière’s chair was for a long time reserved for the most eminent actor in the troupe. Due to administrative negligence, it was stored at the Théâtre de la République, instead of at the Odeon. Fortunately, because on December 18, 1799, the Odeon burned down! Since then, the armchair has been placed under glass so as not to damage it and only Charlie Chaplin has had the right to touch it. Since 2007, every January 15, the day of Molière’s baptism, a double copy of this armchair is exhibited in his homage in front of the Comédie Française, in a display case and the original is in the Comédie Française.


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