Today I visited one of the most charming museums in the city, in one of the most charming areas of the city – Montmartre (if you avoid the tourist traps around the Sacré Coeur and the Place du Tertre then Montmartre is gorgeous). The Montmartre Museum was created in 1960 in the oldest building on the Montmartre hill, and has recently been completely refurbished and the gardens redesigned.
Set in two buildings that have been homes and studios to the likes of Renoir, Raoul Dufy, Suzanne Valado and her son Maurice Utrillo, it’s now home to a collection of artworks that tell the story of the artistic life of Montmartre – its cabarets, studios, cafés and those who frequented them. The caretakers lodge was also home to Pere Tanguy; artists such as Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Van Gogh would get their art supplies at his shop nearby. If they couldn’t afford to pay him they would give him one of their paintings instead.
You are also treated to an up close and very beautiful view of the Montmartre vineyard (yes they still grow grapes there, and the wine is made in the cellars of the town hall, another post to follow on that!)
And finally you can visit Utrillo’s studio, which has been reconstructed as it was when he lived there until 1926 with his mother Suzanne Valadon.
There is a lovely café in the gardens (closed for a few weeks for refurbishment but due to reopen shortly). The Montmartre Museum is not only a fascinating visit, but also a haven of peace and quiet beauty away from the crowds nearby.
- Musée de Montmartre, 12 rue Cortot, 75018 Paris. metro: Lamarck Caulaincourt or Abesses
Open daily 10:00 – 18:00.