Clémence Bleuse, ca. 1890 – after 1930
by Brian Stevenson
last updated June, 2013
Little information has been located regarding the life and works of Clémence Bleuse. The earliest record I located dates from 1911. During that year, she joined the Société les Naturalistes Parisiens, and was described as being a preparer of entomological specimens. This suggests a birth date of roughly 1890. All known records show her living and working at 29 rue Lacépède, Paris, France.
Figure 1. A slide of strewn diatoms, prepared by Clémence Bleuse. A similar diatom slide is illustrated in B. Bracegirdle’s ‘Microscopical Mounts and Mounters’, plate 7, slide B.
Throughout the year of 1916, Bleuse advertised her insect preparations in the Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (Figure 2).
Clémence joined the Société Entomologique de France in 1922. The Bulletin noted that she specialized in general entomology and microscopy. Presumably, she was then preparing microscope slides in sizeable quantities.
The 1925 Encyclopédie Entomologique remarked upon “les belles préparations microscopiques exécutées par Mlle C. Bleuse” (the beautiful microscopical preparations made by Miss C. Bleuse). Bleuse’s slides are relatively rare nowadays, at least in England and North America, and her few known slides are of diatoms (Figure 1, see also Bracegirdle, page 13 and plate 7-B). Perhaps there are boxes of Bleuse insect slides in France that have not been made widely available?
Advertisements from 1926 again advertised Bleuse’s insect and microscopical preparations (Figure 2). These advertisements included a footnote that she should not be confused with Mr. L. Bleuse of Rennes. Leon Bleuse (1839-1926) was a noted French entomologist. Clémence’s point of distinguishing herself from Leon suggests that the two were not related.
Clémence was still an active member of the Société Entomologique de France in 1930, the most recent record I located. She was consistently referred to as Mademoiselle, implying that she remained unmarried as late as 1930.
Figure 2. Advertisements for sale of Bleuse’s insect and microscopical preparations, both from the Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France.
Bracegirdle, Brian (1998) Microscopical Mounts and Mounters, Quekett Microscopical Club, London, pages 13, 118 and plate 7, slide B
Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (1916) Advertisements inside the front cover, all year long
Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (1922) Admission of Mlle. C. Bleuse to membership
Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (1926) Advertisement from Mlle. C. Bleuse
Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (1927) List of members: 1922.*Bleuse (Mlle C), Q A., 29, rue Lacépède, Paris, 5e. Entomologie générale, Micrographie
Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (1929) Record of voting members, Vol. 34, page 162
Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (1930) Record of voting members, Vol. 35, page 101
Bulletin de la Société les Naturalistes Parisiens (1911) Bleuse (Mlle. Clémence), Préparateur d'Entomologie, 29, rue Lacépède (Paris, 5e)
Le Cerf, Ferdinand (1925) Encyclopédie Entomologique, page 73