Born at Allier and educated in Paris, de Banville published his first poem, Les Cariatides,
in 1842. His genial nature enabled him to win the friendship of several fellow poets
eg de Vigny, Janin and Hugo and he wrote numerous prose pieces and verse plays.
Besides his artistic achievements, he also wrote reviews and was a newspaper drama critic.
He was awarded the Legion d'honneur in 1858 and died in Paris in 1891.