Hidden alleys and courtyards

Walking along the streets in Paris, I always wish to push doors and gates to see what’s behind. Very often it’s not possible due to digital codes etc.. It’s of course understandable that people who live in the hidden courtyards and alleys wish to be left in peace, but... very often you can be - almost - as satisfied by taking a photo through a little opening, like here.

This was on Rue du Bac. I was luckier with another gate. I’m not giving the street number, as I’m not sure that I was officially admitted, but anyhow I managed to get in.  

I found out that here was the home of Louis-Pierre Baltard (1764-1846), engraver and architect and the father of another architect, Victor Baltard (1805-74), the creator of the famous Baltard Pavilions (Les Halles) and also of the Saint Augustin Church.

This is also where the American-born, European-based, painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) resided now and then during the years 1892-1901. Maybe we should also remember that Whistler and Oscar Wilde were good friends at first, but that their friendship later broke down and that Whistler and his works obviously inspired Wilde when writing “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1890). 


R Alescio said...

Just the kind of places I hope to happen upon this spring in Paris. Maybe I will be as inquisitive as you and find hidden gems. Thank you as always for these posts. I'd like to buy you a coffee when in town.

PeterParis said...

R Alesco: Just tell me when you are in town! :-)

Jeanie said...

Peter, this post reminds me of the audible gasp I made when I opened the gate to Jerry's then-building and discovered a haven of a courtyard. Of all my France photos, those remain among my favorites! These are lovely Next time I need to push open a few more doors!

Anonymous said...

I always thought Rue du Bac to be a very old and historical part of Paris.
Thank you so much for leading us through your fabled city.
Your photos are superb, as usual!