The Musée de
Step through the looking glass into Montmartre of yesteryear.
A time of collaboration, creation, and celebration.
Auguste Renoir paints in the garden. Suzanne Valadon paints a female nude in her studio. After working as an acrobat, a model for Degas, Renoir, and Lautrec, and a single mother, she will be the first woman admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Her son, Maurice Utrillo, paints masterpiece street scenes in between throes of alcoholism. In an attic across the way, Erik Satie composes Gymnopédies.
Meanwhile, Rodolphe Salis has founded the Chat Noir cabaret. Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen decorates it with countless cats and moons. Henri Rivière puts on shadow theater shows. Nearby, at the Moulin Rouge, Yvette Guilbert enchants audiences with her delightfully raunchy songs. Henri de Toulouse Lautrec is ever present in the cabarets, capturing their true character for his next lithographic poster.
Artists that turned the century
This turn of the century world is preserved in the Musée de Montmartre, at 12 Rue Cortot, Paris. A museum unlike any other, the grounds feature a vineyard, the Renoir Gardens, Suzanne Valadon’s atelier-apartment, and multiple exhibition spaces overlooking Paris of past and present. The Permanent Collection allows us to experience the artists’ Montmartre, capturing their avant-garde spirit in thousands of interconnected books, drawings, journals, paintings, photographs, posters, prints, and tools of shadow theater.
The museum’s main building is one of the oldest in Montmartre, built in the 17th century: La Maison du Bel Air. It once housed the studios of numerous artists, such as Auguste Renoir, Émile Bernard, Raoul Dufy, Charles Camoin, Suzanne Valadon, and Maurice Utrillo.
The Renoir Gardens are named for impressionist painter who lived on-site between 1875 and 1877. During this time Renoir painted several masterpieces, including the famous Le Bal du Moulin de la Galette, La Balançoire, and Jardin de la rue Cortot.
Step into the world of Suzanne Valadon
The Musée de Montmartre’s recreation of Valadon’s Atelier-Apartment allows the visitor to step through the looking glass into Montmartre of yesteryear. Until you can next visit the Musée, we invite you to meet Suzanne and the rest of the “infernal trio” who lived at Number 12 through this video created by the brilliant Jean-Pierre François in collaboration with the Musée and the Association Vieux Montmartre.