Yvan Salmon was born on July 27, 1848 in Vosgos (northern France). He took the nickname Victor Noir, thanks to his mother’s single surname (Josephine Elisabeth Noir). His father, Joseph Jacques Salmon was a watchmaker. He moved to Paris to start working as a journalist in the La Marsellaise periodical. In December 1869 a dispute broke out between two Corsican newspapers: the radical La Revanche, inspired by Grousset, and the officer L’Avenir de la Corse, edited by an agent of the Ministry of the Interior named Della Roca. La Revanche’s insults focused on Napoleon I. On December 30, l’Avenir published a letter to its publisher sent to Prince Pierre-Napoléon Bonaparte, a cousin of Emperor Napoleon III.
On January 10, 1870, Grousset sent Victor Noir and Ulrich de Fonvielle as his servants to set the conditions for the duel with Pierre Bonaparte. Each of them carried a pistol in their pockets. Noir and Fonvieille introduced themselves to Prince Bonaparte with a letter signed by Grousset. But the prince rejected the challenge, affirming his willingness to fight against the noble Rochefort, but not against his servants.
However, Noir’s death is unknown, but we have two versions. The first version was by Fonvieille, who claims that Prince Bonaparte slapped Noir and killed. The second version was of the prince, who claims that Noir hit him first and in self-defense he killed him. We certainly know that Noir died on 11 January 1870 and his mysterious death became famous. His sculpture is located above his grave in the Paris cemetery. The sculpture is made in a realist style in bronze. Legend has it that if a single person puts a flower over the hat of the sculpture, kisses his lips and touches his feet and the inner thigh will find love.