23.5.08

Villa Seurat


For its particular architecture, 1920 “art moderne” style, I went to see Villa Seurat, a small street in the 14th arrondissement. It was a little bit of a deception. Despite the fact that most of the buildings were built during a short period and by renown architects like André Lurçat and the brothers Perret, there is no homogenous style and the materials used, as often with this type of building (Le Corbusier, Mallet-Stevens…) don’t resist well – or need very careful, and expensive, maintenance. What is possibly more interesting here is the number of personalities related to this street.

The name of this small street ("villa") comes from the painter Georges Seurat (1859-1891), who (possibly) lived here for a short while – before the present buildings were constructed.

One of the houses was built for the brother of the architect André Lurçat, Jean Lurçat, especially known for his tapestries. Henry Miller lived here (at no. 18), first as a guest of a friend (1931), behind the three windows you can see here. This is where he started to write “Tropic of Cancer”. He later moved in more permanently on a higher floor (1934-39), where he part of the time shared the flat with Anaïs Nin, another erotic author. It seems that Salvador Dali (with Gala) also lived in this house for a short period in the 30’s.
Villa Seurat is a small side street to Rue de la Tombe-Issoire, which during the Roman times was the main road from the south to the centre of Lutèce (Paris). The name of the street in translation is “the tomb of Issoire”. There was a medieval tale that a giant, named Isoré, killed pilgrims who took this road on their way to Santiago de Compostella. He was finally killed, but he was so big that he had to be buried here. You can find a modern and very kind version of the giant on the front of a school building.

… and under our feet are the catacombs.




It's Friday again... I wish you a nice weekend!

32 comments:

Shionge said...

Yes it is the weekend again and thanks for the tour once again too Peter.

Ex-Shammickite said...

You find the most interesting corners of Paris to teach us about, Peter! And this is above the catacombs? I visited the catacombs in 2005... oh, I thought it was fascinating! But I'll wait until you post about the catacombs before I say any more.

LeenaM said...

Every corner of your city is full of history, if you know that and you tell it to us, thank you!

Have a happy weekend as well, Peter!

alice said...

Toujours aussi documenté et fourmillant de détails...j'admire chaque jour la performance!
J'avais déjà vu ce géant et comme aujourd'hui, je m'étais demandé s'il n'effrayait pas les enfants de l'école?

Olivier said...

Je ne connaissais pas cette sculpture, mais elle est magnifique, tu en connais le sculpteur ?
J'aime bien me promener dans tes posts et ecouter tous ces noms d'artistes qui font rever.


Bon Weekend

delphinium said...

Si j'allais à l'école, j'aurai peur d'une telle sculpture. Non?
Le meilleur matériau pour les maisons, c'est le bois. Vive les chalets en bois. :-))
Y en a pas dans le 14ème arrondissement? Bises et bon WE

hpy said...

Sans doute une rue assez agréable à vivre. A la taille humaine, sauf le géant, bien entendu.
Bon weekend!

Nathalie d'avignon said...

Delphinium, s'il y a un seul chalet en bois dans Paris (et je ne doute pas qu'il y en ait un) je suis certaine que Peter te le trouvera !!!

Moi j'aime bien ce gentil géant !
Fait-il peur aux enfants ? Il faudrait aller le demander à la maitresse d'école !

Encore un post super bien documenté, bravo Peter. Profite bien de ton weekend !

Nathalie said...

PS - j'ai été ébahie par ton post sur le cloitre du Palais Royal. Il faut vraiment avoir l'idée d'entrer, c'est magnifique et tout à fait surprenant !

Abraham Lincoln said...

Your ending sentence, "and under are feet are the catacombs" is right in tune with our "Memorial Day" weekend that I still call it by the name originally given: "Decoration Day" -- the day people went to cemeteries and "decorated" graves with flowers. Now it is more associated with the famous Indianapolis 500 motor car race and lots of drinking, barbecuing, and eating of grilled hot dogs.

I like your post and was fascinated by "Isore" who was the giant killed there at the tomb of Issoire. In biblical times there were giants here and some were monumental in size. These were much larger than mortals can imagine.

Azer Mantessa said...

i've got to admit ... when i first saw the first picture, i thought i was on the wrong blog until it says

'For its particular architecture, 1920 “art moderne” style, ...'

Villa Seurat is without doubt ... unique.

Maxime said...

Villa Seurat sounds for me as magics words, although I did'nt went there, for having read then so often. The painter Chaim Soutine lived there, too.

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

eeeh Peter ,
Lovely again a I like the bottom "man" hanging on the building haha!

Aswer on you Q: Lucky i am right handed but for photography and typeing I need 2 hands/arms (boohoo)

Have a great weekend!!
JoAnn from Holland:)

claude said...

Merci Peter ! Tu complètes mes connaissances sur cet arrondissent.
Bon week-end !

SusuPetal said...

The catacombs! I've visited the place. Impressing, claustrophobic indeed.

Have a nice weekend, Peter, and make us jealous with a bunch of new, lovely photos from Paris!

ALAIN said...

Il y a des maisons en bois à Paris, mais elles sont Russes. Peter nous fera certainement quelque chose la dessus un jour.
Cette époque ce n'est pas celle que je préfère, question architecture, par contre, la littérature c'est autre chose : Anais Nin, c'est un régal !

Noushy Syah said...

Let's go to the park! hehehhe..enjoy the sunshine while having picnic after the tour of Villa Seurat..

THanks peter for the short info on the historical buildings/places or stature.

Hope you too have a relaxing weekend.

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

What an interesting post, Peter. I always learn something reading your posts and seeing your photos. It's amazing... so many artist had living in Paris...

I wish you a nice weekend as well!

Mathilde said...

Bonjour Peter,

Un petit tour... entre le grand prix de Monaco et la grève de la SNCF qui me laissa désappointée sur un quai de gare désert, heureuse de rentrer et de vous retrouver tous.

Je te souhaite un bon WE et à très bientôt.

April said...

I completely agree with you about the buildings, Peter.

(I have moved to a new address, Wordpress)

Emily Lin said...

Peter, be careful of the giant!! =))

Cuckoo said...

The building with Isoré is quite amusing. :-)

Do they paint it from time to time ?

GMG said...

Hi Peter! I'm so glad that I have now this almost two hour-stroll (at least) through Paris every weekend! And with a lot of further information coming together. Fantastic work!
Starting with the Cité. It's amazing, but yesterday I found a DVD with William Klein's film «Grands soirs Petits matins» on May 68 and this afternoon I was having a look back in time seeing it, when I found there some scenes caught at the Cité... I was there at the Maison du Portugal to meet some friends in 1969, and it was quite a discovery... It looks much nicer now, though. Or probably are your pictures that make it much nicer!
The Campagne Première Street is a huge surprise. It seems that most of the important cultural names had some connection there! The building at Raspail is superb and the pictures of the buildings at Campagne Première and at the Passage d’Enfer are wonderful! Amazing that «Le Fou d’Elsa» met her at the Istria… and that Picasso had his studio on your accidental guide’s workplace… Not to mention Sartre and Castor!!
Camondo and Cartier; definitely have to get back to Paris!
Interesting that you also found what probably are the remains of the Jansenist stronghold in Paris… Beautiful cloister and lovely pictures, with some roses to add…
That green colour you found on the Parc Montsouris is awesome!
Finally, Villa Seurat is another secret you have revealed to us! It may be a bit deceptive when you get there, but seeing your pictures I find no reason to complain… Seurat, Miller and Dali are more than enough to make a street famous… And the Giant looks really great… ;))
Hope you have a great week!

Cergie said...

Anaïs Nin, auteur érotique ? Surtout une petite fille gâtée et mal élevée par un père incestueux.
De sa littérature, j'ai retenu Louvecienne qui est près de chez nous et où nous passons. Et la montée de l'escalier avec Miller, avant acte...

Peter said...

shionge:
Yes weekend again! You start a few hours earlier than we!

ex-shammickite:
OK! No date for my visit to the catacombs yet, so you have to come back here and check regularly!

leenam:
Yes, every time you look on something here there is a history lesson behind!

Peter said...

alice:
Le géant a l'air très gentil!

olivier:
Corinne Beoust.

delphinium:
On trouve queqlues maisons en bois à Paris. Je vais les trouver pour toi!

Peter said...

hpy:
Le géant n'est pas dans la petite rue; à coté! Alors, tu peux demenager!

nathalie:
Merci pour ces compliments! Oui, je vais trouver la masion en bois!

abraham:
How big can a giant be?

Peter said...

azer:
Happy you came to the "right" blog!

maxime!
Yes, Soutine... and some others, but I had to shorten the list!

joann:
Yes the "hanging big man" is surprising!

Peter said...

claude:
Pourtant, tu connais le 14e!

suspetal:
If you are claustrophobic, the catacombs is not the ideal place!

alain:
Je vais les trouver ces maisons russes! Je suis d'accord pour ce que tu dis sur l'architecture! On peut trouver des bons examples, mais ils sont assez rares. Ces maisons ont souvent mal vécu!

Peter said...

noushy:
OK, let's join in the park! ... but the sun is gone! It will be back!

sonia:
Most 19th and 20th century artists have lived in Paris, for a longer or shorter period!

mathilde:
Très content de te retrouver!! A bientôt!

Peter said...

april:
I checked your new address!

gmg:
Thanks for spending all this time on my blog!
The Portuguese building has, I believe, been somewhat improved!
Well, yes, you definitely have to come back to Paris, although it seems that you know it better than most Parisians!

cergie:
Tu peux discuter Anaïs avec Alain! Vous n'avez pas la même opinion!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm the sculptor of the Giant Isore (rue de la Tombe Issoire) and I would appreciate that you mention my name in your text.
Best regards,
Corinne Beoust
http://www.corinnebeoust.com