Walking around Montparnasse, especially thinking about the artist life during the first part of the 20th century, - see e.g. my recent posts about the Bourdelle Museum and about Cité Falguière - I also managed to visit what is named Villa Gabriel. We are in a part of Paris where so much was changed during the 1960’s and 70’s, of course including the Montparnasse Tower… , but a few streets and alleys, some workshops and studios... are still around to remind us about the artistically rich Montparnasse years.
On the map comparisons below (1894 and today), we can see how the Villa Gabriel and the Bourdelle Museum are interconnected and there is even an imagined prolongation with the other small alley on which I posted already in 2008, the “Chemin de Montparnasse”, where Marie Vasieleff offered meals and drinks to starving and thirsty artists like Chagall, Picasso, Leger, Modigliani, Soutine, Zadkine, Matisse…
When, around 1905, the Franciscans who had occupied Villa Gabriel had to leave, the different workshops and studios that had been created became occupied by different craftsmen and artists and also by a school specialising in the teaching of electricity, the Ecole Breguet - which since has left.
Very difficult to find some more detailed information about who may have been the artists who have lived here – there are still some around, but we will perhaps learn more about them in some decades… . I found information only about Alfred Maurer (1868-1932). Starting in a more conventional way, like with the prize-winning “An arrangement” we can see here, he developed during his later Paris-years by painting in a cubist and fauvist manner. Despite support from Leo and Gertrude Stein, something went wrong, he went back to his native US, was almost forgotten and committed suicide. Some of his paintings are now worth several hundred thousand dollars and can be found in the leading museums.