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The Montparnasse artists
5 Jun

Montparnasse, district of artists

The district of Montparnasse offers a very special atmosphere thanks to the traces left by the many artists who lived there, especially during the roaring twenties. Why don’t you follow us on a walk starting from the hotel to discover this Montparnasse district of artists?

Let the Montparnasse district seduce you

From the hotel, go to rue d’ Assas and stop first at the Zadkine Museum. We have already told you about it in our article on small Parisian museum. This is the former home of the Russian sculptor. This museum, not that famous, is however worth a detour for both the artworks it houses, and for the place itself. The charming 18th century house has indeed a beautiful garden, adorned with statues, which benefits, as well as the permanent collections, from free access.

Then, go down the street to Port-Royal for a pause at the Closerie des Lilas. This Art Deco brasserie has become legendary, thanks to its famous regular patrons: painters, who created the impressionism movement, writers, intellectuals. It can be noted that Renaud refers to it in his song “A la Close”, or Hemingway in his book « a Moveable Feast » (find more details about this here).

Then go on the boulevard du Montparnasse and turn left in the Rue Campagne Première. The latter is full of old workshops and ancient homes of artists such as Modigliani, Aragon, Klein, Man Ray, etc. It is a real pleasure to admire these beautiful buildings full of history.

At the 247, push the door to discover the Passage d’Enfer, it’s worth the detour! While strolling on Boulevard Raspail, take a look at N°242: this was one of Picasso’s workshops. Then take rue Victor Schœlcher, where the Giacometti Institute is located in a reconstruction of the artist’s studio. Be careful though, if you want to visit it, you need to book.

We then go to the Montparnasse cemetery where many of the artists who have marked the area are buried. Some tombs are remarkable and the place is worth a visit all by itself.

The Montparnasse spirit of artists always present?

Once you leave the cemetery, go up on the boulevard Raspail, and when you arrive in front of the hotel take left on rue Delambre. It has two remarkable numbers: the 5th, where lived the painter Foujita and the 9th, where artists’ studios have hosted among others Ernest Hemingway, Isadora Duncan or Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

At the end of the street, it is possible to find a little of this Montparnasse artists spirit every Sunday. Indeed, once a week, the Creativity market will welcome you on Boulevard Quinet, and offer an opportunity to meet today artists, admire their works, or even bring one back home.

Then go up to the boulevard du Montparnasse, Vavin crossroads facing four famous brasseries also marked by their illustrious patrons: La Coupole with its mosaics and columns, but also la Rotonde, le Select and le Dôme.

Go back up the boulevard, heading in the direction to the last two spots of our stroll in the artists’ Montparnasse district: Vassilieff villa and Bourdelle museum. The first was an old city of artists where Marie Vassilieff welcomed penniless artists. The place is still an artist’s residence, but also an exhibition center for contemporary art. The Bourdelle museum features a more classical style, magnificent building surrounded by a quiet garden decorated with statues. Admission is free so please go and enjoy it!

And now, your journey dedicated to the Montparnasse artistic district ends. All you have to do is going back to your hotel room and enjoy a well-deserved rest.