MUSÉE DE MONTMARTRE
Address : 12 Rue Cortot, 75018 Paris, France
Transportation : Metro line 12, Lamarck - Caulaincourt Station
Opening Hours : Daily 10:00 - 19:00 April to September / Daily 10:00 - 18:00 October to March / opens until 22:00 every Thursday in July and August
Price : Adult 12€ / Students under 25 years-old 9€ / 10-17 years-old 5,5€
Musée de Montmartre located on 12 Rue Cortot in Montmartre, which was a famous gathering spot for artists in Paris during 19th century. Not only the painter Suzanne Valadon settled down in this apartment as her atelier, the painting Bal du moulin de la Galette by Auguste Renoir was also been finished in this site. Therefore, there is Jardin Renoir inside the yard of museum in memory of the great painter and the epoque. The museum also conserves the signs of Lapin Agile, which was painted by André Gill.
The museum composed of two main buildings and a jardin. One is for the temporary exhibition and the atelier of Suzanne Valadon, the other is for the permanent exhibition of the history of Montmartre. In the picture, you could see the one with permanent works which is also the oldest house in Montmartre, constructed in the middle of 17th century and was restored in 1959.
The painting by Alfred Renaudin, which depicts the barren scene in Montmartre in the 19th century.
Le Maquis de Montmartre by Marcel Leprin. "The Maquis" is the area between rue Girardon and rue Caulaincourt, used to be a large wasteland and then gradually became a small village in Montmartre. It was home for the rag, junk dealers, craftsmen and artists. It was said that Jean Renoir liked coming here to look for the snails.
The must-see of the Musée de Montmartre is the atelier of Suzanne Valadon. Suzanne Valadon, who lived in Montmartre nearly her whole life, first started her career as a model in age 15. She had been modeled for many great artists for example Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Auguste Renoir. In 25, she met the French painter Edgar Degas, who believed she has talented and encouraged her to paint.
Valadon lived in this studio-apartment from 1912 with her son and her husband André Utter until their separation in 1926. The time she spent here was regarded as Valadon's happiest years in her life.
Valadon didn't study in any fine arts academy in her whole life. The rich color, firm lines, emotional senses, self-portraits and female-nudes are the main figures of her work. Valadon was also considered to be detached from trends of academic art that time, not only because her background but also because she broke the tradition of how a female painter saw through a female body, entering the male domain of art with her unique perspectives and finally emerged into an artist. Therefore, nowadays Valadon's work on nude bodies are often discussed as a material of feminism.
The bedroom of Valadon. The reconstruction and interior design is by Hubert Le Gall and his team.
In the museum, it also displays the the history of Le Chat Noir - which was considered to be the fisrt modern cabaret. Le Chat Noir opened on 18 November 1881 at 84 Boulevard de Rochechouart by Rodolphe Salis, and closed in 1897 after Salis' death.
Just beside the museum, there is the vineyard of Montmartre. Every year in October, Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre will be hold here to celebrate the harvest of grape and wine. Next time when you visit Montmartre or Sacré-Cœur, don't forget to come to the museum, enjoying a moment of tranquility, let the art brings you back to the beautiful epoque.
Written and Photographed by : Che Fen OU YANG