Montmartre Museum

Well, I know, it’s July 14th and it’s time to celebrate! Just as a reminder, here is photo I took two years ago (more of these fireworks photos here). If you take a look at Virginia's Paris blog, you will see that I was not alone, when I took these photos. I imagine that something similar will be seen again tonight. I guess I will be around.

But, in the meantime, this post will be about something else. I was invited to the inauguration of a plate, fixed on the wall of what today is the Montmartre Museum. I already posted about the museum end 2009, when there was a danger that it would be closed. It has been saved! Important improvements will be made between now and 2014. The governance of the museum and the works presented have by the City of Paris been committed to an enterprise which already with success manages other historic places in France. They will work in close cooperation with the “Association du Vieux Montmartre” (I’m a member), created in 1886, which since has built up a fantastic collection of paintings, photos… all kinds of souvenirs of what Montmartre was and is.

So, before entering, we assisted at a small ceremony in the street, in the presence of the Mayor of the arrondissement, the boss of the museum, the President of the Montmartre Republic, the Chairman of the “Vieux Montmartre” association, a representative of the Mayor of Paris… and we could see the plate. It indicates some of the names of artists who have worked and lived in what now are the museum buildings, one of which probably is the oldest still existing building on Montmartre.
Some of the names on the plate are world famous, some maybe less. At the end of the post, I will tell something more about the people named on the plate.

So, we entered into the nice gardens, heard some more speeches… and got something to eat and drink.
Exceptionally, it was possible to reach all pieces of the garden and even have a different look at the vineyards (see previous post). In the future, there will also be a direct access to the little “wild” park, the Saint Vincent Garden (see previous post).
Of course I made also a quick visit to the present museum building (see again previous post for more details, if you wish).
So… who were the artists who have been active here, for longer or shorter periods? Some are really famous, but I guess I'm not the only one who didn't know more than possibly the names of some of these personalities, so I did some "research".

Let’s take them in the order they are mentioned on the plate.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was here for about a year and had the time to finish one of his most famous paintings, including the “Moulin de la Galette”, “Le Balançoire”, “Le Jardin de la rue Cortot” (obiously representing him and Monet in discussion).
Maximilien Luce was a painter and anarchist, most well-known for his pointillist works, like Signac, who made his portrait.
Emile-Othon Friez belonged to the fauvist movement, friend of Raoul Dufy (see below). He became more traditional with the age.
Raoul Dufy lived many years here. He was definitely a leading fauvist painter. He’s also known for ceramic and textile, fashion, designs and some very large decorations for public buildings.
Emile Bernard was a post-impressionist painter, like van Gogh and Gauguin and he was close friend with both of them. Bernard spent time with Gauguin in Pont-Aven and we can see how they then made counter piece portraits. We know that Gauguin and van Gogh spent time together in Arles. We can see below how van Gogh copied Bernard’s paintings. They went to the same art school in Paris (Cormon) (see previous post), where Bernard also became friend with Toulouse--Lautrec… and there is even a photo with Bernard and van Gogh together on the Seine banks. … and Bernard attended and painted van Gogh’s funeral.
Francisque Poulbot was a pure “Montmartrian” and did a lot to save the Montmartre spirit. He’s known for his paintings of kids, known as “poulbots”. I have already posted about him and the - false - “poulbots” we now can find as postcards and tourist paintings.
Charles Camoin belonged to the original fauvist group, friend of Matisse.
Suzanne Valadon is definitely the person who, together with her son, Maurice Utrillo, has marked the place, living here for years. Starting as a model, she became herself a renowned painter. She has been portrayed by many of those days’ leading painters, some of them also her lovers,  … and by herself.

Maurice Utrillo was thus Suzanne Valadon’s (and Renoir’s?) son. Very bohemian, often drunk, a bit crazy… he has left a very large number of typical Montmartre paintings.
André Utter was Suzanne Valadon’s second official (very young) husband. He painted, but also managed Suzanne’s and Maurice’s “business”.
André Antoine was an actor, director, theater manager. He’s considered as the inventor of more modern, realistic theatre staging. For a while he managed a theatre in Paris which still is named after him.
Léon Bloy was a novelist, essayist, pamphleteer and poet. Authors like Graham Greene, Jorge Luis Borges, John Irving… have said to have been influenced by him and refer to him in their works.
Pierre Reverdy is known as a leading surrealist poet, friend of Apollinaire, Max Jacob, André Breton, Tzara, Picasso, Braque, Matisse… He had a love affair with Coco Chanel … but then retired quite young.
Démétrios Galanis lived here some 50 years. Painter and engraver, friend of Picasso and exhibiting with him and also with Matisse, Gris, Dufy, Chagall, Braque… he was also professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, member of the French Academy…
A last look at the museum and the garden , Suzanne Valadon’s studio and the tree, where I believe they have the intention to put a swing, to commemorate Renoir's “Balançoire”.


Jeanie said...

Happy Bastille Day to you, Peter! I've been thinking of you as I've watched the Tour de France and hope you will have some photos of the Paris arrival, though I suspect good vantage points are tough to snag!

Another fascinating post -- I hope to visit there next spring and it seems like a fine stop! I particularly appreciate your sharing the information on the artists. I'm familiar with many of them, of course, but there are tidbits and paintings I wasn't aware of. Since I love Impressionism, it's always fun to learn new things!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

You have given a comprehensive and wonderful overview of this museum and I will put it on my list. Your photos and descriptions "connect the dots" with this collection of artists and art.

Yes, I do love best the photo of La Tour E in all her glory... wish I was there again for quatorze juillet!


Olivier said...

quelle vue pour le feu d'Artifice, c'est magique,cela donne envie de venir un 13 juillet sur Paris...GRANDIOSE

Montreal Photo Daily said...

Great post, colorful and thorough as usual!

I hope you are celebrating and having a jolly good time with friends and family. Happy Bastille Day Peter!

Cheers from Montreal!

yoko said...

It is a great post of Montmartre Museum. I would like to visit when I go to Paris next time. I feel I am going back to the late nineteenth century & the early of twenty century.
Thank you, Peter.

Thirtytwo degrees said...

Beautiful work, Peter! I really enjoyed this presentation. Thanks so much, and as you know, my sympathies are for the Royal Family, not the revolutionaries! I adore the House of Bourbon! I wouldn't be looking at your great work were it not for that! So while you enjoy the fetivities, I will drink a toast to the entire line of Kings and Queens who helped to develop and create the nation of France! I am sincerely sorry so many heads did fall in that dreadful revolution! Louis XVI did help fund the American Revolution, and as a historian, and proud American, I feel indebted to the memory of the King! Salut!

Simony said...

I loved this post! I always like to hear about artists' life.
Couldn't help to notice that some of the audience in the big opening were like a piece of art work themselves!
Lovely place.

Sciarada said...

Ciao Peter, happy anniversary at all frenchs!

Pierre BOYER said...

Merci !


This is Belgium said...

Happy quatorze to you too, Glad the museum was saved. Great reportage

Cergie said...

Un message comme un feu d'artifice et une top photo digne de rentrer au musée des bouquets finaux.
Juste une remarque mrs Valaldon est (était) une femme > "by his son Murice Utrillo" = pas bien
> by her son Maurice Utrillo = bien

PeterParis said...

Merci Cergie! Corrigé! :-)

M said...

Peter, you had me enthralled this morning rightnoff the bat with the amazing photo of the fireworks at ET ... But then I continued reading, looking, savoring your post and I was transported to Montmartre and this fascinating place. I can't wait to be back in Paris and see this museum. Happy Bastille Day! Beaucoup de bises from Houston.

Leif Hagen said...

Hej pa dej, Peter! Such fantastic fireworks at the Eiffel Tower among the other many interesting parts of this posting! A year ago today, we were landing in Goteborg to pick up our new "Hagen Wagon," a Volvo V70!
Bonne journee

Thérèse said...

Quelle recherche! Vraiment genial. Tu deviens le Google Parisien...

Virginia said...

FIrst of all, I see that we both felt those fireworks in 09 were worth a second look today! :) Actually I've posted many in these past two years but never tire of them. I trust our readers will not! Merci for finding as Harriet said, the perfect bridge!

Now this museum is one we've strolled past but never taken the time to have a look inside. I see it's next to the little vineyard that is always closed. I will enjoy reviewing the artists that you've so kindly posted for us. THat must have taken hours Peter. Well done.
Joyeux quatorze juillet mon ami.

Starman said...

Bonnes Fêtes!
I wish I could walk Montmartre again. It has been many years since I've been there.

Karen said...

Ah, Merci, Peter. Some of these artists I know of and others are new to me. I always learn when I read your posts.
I must add this to my already-too-long list of things to do in Paris next month. Ten days just will not be enough. I guess a lifetime would be too short to see all that Paris has to offer.
Looking forward to seeing you again.
a bientot

Synne said...

Happy 14th of July, Peter! Very interesting and informative post!

Jack said...

Happy Bastille Day, Peter. Your fireworks photo is excellent ad deserves a repeated showing.

Once again you have blown me away with your scholarship. Thanks for all the information. I spent some time reading about Suzanne Valadon. I am familiar with some of the paintings of her, but I didn't connect the dots that it was the same woman, nor did I know she was herself a skilled artist nor did I know that her son was Utrillo. I always learn from the blogs I read, but your post today might have set a new record for me.

claude said...

Je savais bien qu"'on allait avoir droit à une belle photo du feu d'artifice de Paris. Je suis retournée sur ton post 2009 et je réitère ce que j'avais, à savoir que tes photos sont sublimes.
Quel post complet et intéressant sur ce musée de Montmartre avec tous ces peintres de talent.
Je regrette de ne pouvoir être à Paris pour l'expo Monet.

Cezar and Léia said...

Congratulations for this amazing post dear Peter, it's a brilliant reportage full of great details and information.
I saw the fireworks at French TV here, and I confess my eyes were full of tears, it was a magnificent show!
Please forgive my absence.Our son has arrived from Brazil, enjoying some days of vacations.I'm very happy! :)
Maybe I will take some days of "blogvacations"!
hugs and a nice week ahead,

la jeune captive said...

abzolutely fantastic!!!!

zank you, peter.

Shopgirl said...

I adore montmarte and its heritage of artists, not to say the famed white domed church. A lovely slice of memories surface with each of your posts, feel fortunate though I can't visit this year.

Mona said...

Wow! Peter! That is quite a labor extensive post! Thanks for posting about so many artists and also showing their work in such a systematic manner! It has been most interesting to read and see this post!

Trotter said...

Wow! What a post!!
What do they need a President for? ;))

Bish Bosh Bash said...

Spectacular top photo there, and what a location. I bet you held your breath till you uploaded that batch up onto your PC later. I know I would have done. I’ve just cheated and borrowed the official Paris video of the fireworks display from last weeks ‘Bastille Day’ celebrations for my own homage to ‘Les Vainqueurs de la Bastille’.

To realise that Renoir produced ‘Moulin de la Galette’ from one of the buildings nearby alone – let alone so many others. It’s like being in the vicinity of the Holy Grail itself.

Thanks for the pictorial expo of Montmartre artists of such legend as these. Takes a lot of time and effort to contrive a detailed post such as this. Great job. Bravo.