8.11.12

Montmartre - artists



(Later) famous artists of all kinds, maybe especially painters, were very present at Montmartre during the latter part of the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century. They lived of course a bit “everywhere”, moved often, but there are a number of spots, where you can talk about artist “colonies”.

During a short Montmartre walk, you would certainly pass by the “Bateau Lavoir”, which got its name by the building’s resemblance to the “laundry boats”, which you a century ago could find along the Seine River. The building, which offered a number of artist workshops, burnt almost completely down in the 1970’s, but a few workshops survived and new, far more comfortable ones, can now be found behind the white wall.  Among the more famous artists who lived and / or worked here you may mention painters like Picasso (the cubism – “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” – was “invented" here), Modigliani, Juan Gris, van Dongen, Braque, Matisse … and authors like Appolinaire, Max Jacob, Gertrude Stein…


Also quite centrally are the buildings which now have become the Montmartre Museum, on which I have posted a number of times (the most recent one a week ago), where Renoir, Emile Bernard, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice Utrillo, Raoul Dufy… were active.

More on the western and northern slopes of Montmartre, there are other locations with a high presence of artists, like the “Villa des Arts”, on which I already posted. Renoir, who moved a lot, was also here for some time, as well as Cézanne, Signac, Picabia… 


Another one of these more excentric artist “colonies” on which I would like to concentrate today is “Les Fusains” (which can be translated as “charcoals”). The main entrance is today on a steep street, rue Tourlaque, but it covers an area with other entrances from the parallel street. Unfortunately I could not use any of those, so I have only outside pictures. However, I found an ad about a flat to rent with some illustrations from the inner courtyards, which I “stole” ‘(see “map” below), and also a post by a fellow blogger, “BBONTHEBRINK”, which shows what I would have liked to see. From my “map” with a Google Earth picture one gets an idea of the great number of workshops, about 30. Most of these buildings were created around 1900 by using material from the 1889 World Exhibition, some were added later.




A little comparison of the street in 1875, when "Les Fusains" were not yet there, and today.


Below, you can see some of the artists who have had their workshops at "Les Fusains". Renoir – again - was obviously more or less here already before, using an old shanty as workshop. His portrait of Julie Manet (1894), Manet’s niece, dates from this period. I tried to find photos and works which correspond to the time these artists lived and /or worked here for shorter or longer periods, basically from the very beginning of the 20th century to before WWII. The portrait of André Derain is by Vlaminck. Bonnard is a self-portrait. There are still artists around… maybe someone will post about them in a few decades. 


Walking up the street, on a corner, is a building, where Toulouse-Lautrec, now and then lived and had his workshop 1886-97 (his 22nd to his 33rd year), his most active Montmartre-period. You can below see his paintings of Suzanne Valadon (with a hangover), who was his mistress for about two years, and of “La Goulue”, the first cancan-dancer. I guess it was when he left this place for another workshop that he left 87 works behind, which the next owner used as wallpapers.  He died four years later, in 1901, at the age of 37.


So these places, with the exception of the Montmartre Museum are still active artist places. … and then I must mention another one, “La Cité Montmartre aux Artistes”, which still is very active with some 180 workshops, actually Europe’s most important artist workshop centre. It was created in the 1930’s by the same architect who remodeled “Moulin Rouge” to what it is today (Adolphe Thiers). If you live on the bottom floor, you may have a garden, if you live on the top floors, you have a splendid view of Sacré Coeur.


19 comments:

Olivier said...

j'adore ta facon de nous faire decouvrir Paris, tout ces petits coins. superbe

martinealison said...

Je veux bien aller me promener avec vous la prochaine fois que je me rends à Paris...
Ma nièce habite Montmartre et l'été dernier j'y ai passé une semaine extraordinaire... mes pieds s'en souviennent encore!!

Merci pour ce merveilleux reportage...

Gros bisous.

Virginia said...

Wonderful shots and information as always Peter. I was going to write and ask if you've ever been down behind the Sacre Coeur? I understand that the walk down there is very charming and a path most don't explore. Just wondering for future trips.
V

ALAIN said...

Je suis un peu dubitatif quant à la ressemblance entre cet immeuble et un véritable bateau lavoir.

Adam said...

You say that these places still house artists today, which makes me think of two things. How almost sad it is that they are working behind high walls and closed doors, and secondly what they're actually producing. It was obviously fertile territory in the 19th/early 20th century, but has Montmartre produced anything worth seeing in recent times?

Peter Olson said...

Adam: I agree, too bad about the walls and closed doors. What they produce today? Maybe, we must wait a few decades to know? The artsts named in my post were not too well-known when they worked at these places... What was good (still is?) to see is how often they worked together, communicated... :-)

hpy said...

Inte riktiga korsvirkeshus antar jag, utan bara pamalade prydnader.

Studio at the Farm said...

Peter, what a fabulous post!!! I enjoyed every morsel of information and all the photos. That is definitely one area of Paris I would love to visit. Thank you so much for the "tour"!

Synne said...

It's extra fun to read this when I got the chance to explore the area in your company last week! There's even more to Montmartre than I thought!

bbonthebrink said...

Great to read your post, I love all the details of who painted what, where, and when.

When we moved into our place next door to the Cité des Fusains we were lucky enough to meet one of the artists who lives there now. A certain Jean-Claude Barreault. I can't find much about his work but he does beautiful sculptures in stone and resin. Here is a link I found of his atelier (in the Cité des Fusain) as photographed in 1994 from the inside by Matk Arbeit. It shows examples of his work http://www.faciepopuli.com/post/1500253133/mark-arbeit-atelier-jean-claude-barreault-1994

I look forward to reading more of your posts,

bbonthebrink

Starman said...

Love the Lautrec wallpaper story.
Virginia - We have walked behind Sacre Coeur.

Anonymous said...

This is very timely as next summer, I am directing a play about Picasso who is on the verge of painting Les Demoiselles d'Auvignon.
Cheers,
Stephan

Thérèse said...

Quel éventail! Cela donne tellement envie d'y aller s'y promener par beau temps comme par mauvais temps. Des clins d'oeil précis comme toujours sur ton blog.

Catherine said...

I remember this tour very Well - lovely to see it all in pictures again

claude said...

Nous y avons e de la rue emmenés une année nos amiricains. J'aime bien ce quartier et les grande verrières me rappellent le 9 de la rue Campagne Première, sûrement moins célèbre que Montmartre, pourtant Modigliani la connaissait bien.

Kim said...

Thank you for so much thoughtful detail in this post, Peter. I walked this area at length twice, and have similar photos of a few places you show us, but you also reveal areas I've never heard of let alone seen, and your artist pictures, maps, and photos bring it all to life. Thank you for what must have been a great deal of work to assemble. You always do amaze me with your in-depth posts. Truly a treat to savor. Merci!
-Kim

Richard said...

Great pictures - I've just found this blog and I love it! Richard

Nathalie said...

Toujours un bonheur de se ballader chez toi et de découvrir aussi bien des lieux que l'histoire de ces lieux. Comme Adam je me pose des questions sur les artistes d'aujourd'hui. Peut-être font-ils quelquefois des opérations portes ouvertes ?

arabesque said...

this montmartre trip is still on my must-see list.
and i can see that this area is more than Sacre Ceour.
behind every alleyway and corner there is a story to it.