from A to Z
The north-west area of
Parc Monceau is among the smartest in Paris
and dates mainly from the second half of the 19th
century. It's growth was boosted by Baron Haussmann and the Pereire
brothers who were both bankers. They financed the first railway line
from Paris to St Germain-en-Laye and bought up a lot of
Parc Monceau properties as well as in Batignolles and the
« Epinettes » - a very smart address which even
today guarantees the privacy of its residents but this was not always
new, the area
« celebs »
including rich industrialists
and bankers who threw lavish parties, fashionable artists and many a
« demi-mondaine » whose large private houses
were paid for by their wealthy protectors.
town houses and mansions
demolition many of these remain especially in rues Ampère, rue Fortuny, rue de Prony and rue Henri Rochefort as well as in rue Alfred Roll, rue Eugène Flachat, boulevard Berthier and boulevard Pereire and, most importantly, the wildly
extravagant Hôtel Gaillard in the Place du
Général Catroux (formerly place Malesherbes).
noteworthy buildings: hôtel Gaillard and 132 rue de Courcelles
former is an ornate mansion built in 1884 (for its history, see Hôtel Gaillard) and the latter
a 1907 residential building decorated with ceramics and
whole buildings or merely a top floor (many of which are invisible
from street level), the number of studios bear witness to the
district's thriving artistic life under the Second Empire and the
Pierre Carrier-Belleuse (1851-1933), son
of the sculptor who had been one of Rodin’s teachers, settled in
one of the studios at 29-31 boulevard Berthier. Edouard Detaille (1848-1912) lived at 129 bd Malesherbes. François Flameng (1856-1923), very famous in his day, had his studio at 61 rue Ampère. Henri Gervex (1852-1929) had a town house at 197 boulevard Malesherbes. Godefroy Jadin (1805-1882) painter
of animals and landscapes and a close friend of
Alexandre Dumas had his studio at 9bis rue Jadin. Edouard Manet (1832-1883) who
often moved home briefly worked at 8 rue Médéric while
he was living at 34 boulevard des Batignolles. Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891) who,
in his lifetime was highly praised before being written off,
forgotten and then re-stated had a house built at 131 boulevard Malesherbes. Alphonse de Neuville (1836-1885) pupil of Delacroix and
specialized in battle scenes had a house at 89 boulevard Pereire. Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898) who
took part in the decorating of the Hôtel de Ville, of the Panthéon, of the Sorbonne, lived at 89 avenue de Villiers. Alfred Stevens (1823-1906), of Belgian birth, lived at 20 rue Eugène Flachat.
Alfred Roll (1846-1919) had a studio at n° 17 in
the street that bears his name and another at 41 rue Alphonse de Neuville; he lived at 73 avenue Niel. Odilon Redon (1840-1916) lived at avenue de Wagram. Boulevard Berthier was
the address favoured by such well-known painters as John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) then Giovanni Boldini
(1842-1931) at n° 41 and
the lesser-known: Georges d'Espagnat (1870-1950) at n° 19, Paul Chabas (1869-1937) at n° 23, Gaston Guignard (1848-1922) at n° 25, René Billotte (1846-1915) atn° 29, Guillaume Alaux, Paul Antin, Léon Couturier, Victor Lesur at n° 29-31, Ernest Duez (1843-1896) at n° 39, Georges Rochegrosse at n° 61. Maurice Leloir (1851-1940) lived at 21 avenue Gourgaud. Jean-François
Raffaelli (1850-1924) lived at 202 rue de Courcelles and Kees van Dongen (1877-1968) lived at n° 75 of the same street and had a studio rue Juliette lamber. René
de Saint Marceaux (1845-1915) who
sculpted the statue of Alexandre Dumas fils opposite that of his father place du Général Catroux lived and worked at 23 avenue de Villiers. Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) had a studio at 112 boulevard Malesherbes.The Czech painter Jeroslav Cermak (1830-1878) had a house at 128 avenue de Wagram.
artists who frequented the area were: Georges Clairin (1843-1919) who
did several portraits of Sarah Bernhardt, Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) known
for painting animals and an early feminist, wore trousers and was the
first woman to be granted the Légion d'Honneur, Léon Bakst (1866-1924) best-known
for his designs for the Ballets Russes, the glass worker Joseph Ponsin had 42 rue Fortuny built and embellished with a portrait of Bernard Palissy. The Statue of Liberty designed par Bartholdi at his studio in rue
cast at the foundry of Gaget et Gauthier 25 rue de Chazelles as
well as the underpinning created by Gustave Eiffel pour la maintenir; once
assembled, it was taken apart and dispatched to New York. Two much
smaller versions were made for Paris: the smaller is in the jardin du Luxembourg, and
the other stands on the île aux cygnes beside the pont de Grenelle. This
same foundry restored the Vendôme column after the Commune. James Tissot (1836-1902) and Claude Monet (1840-1926) used the parc Monceau in their paintings.
The pianist Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) founded the Ecole normale de musique de Paris 114bis boulevard Malesherbes. Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) lived at 22 boulevard de Courcelles. Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) a pupil of Saint-Saens lived for a while at 154 boulevard Malesherbes. Claude Debussy (1862-1918) lived at 10 rue Gustave Doré then at 58 rue Cardinet; Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) resided at 154
boulevard Malesherbes; Charles Gounod (1818-1893) moved into a house at n°20 place du Général Catroux; Albert Gourron known as the tenor Albert Alvarez had a house built by Albert Sélonier at 23ter boulevard Berthier. André Messager (1853-1929) erstwhile
director of Covent Garden opera
lived at 103 rue Jouffroy then 174 boulevard Malesherbes. Robert Planquette (1848-1903) who composed Sambre et Meuse and les Cloches de Corneville lived at 145 boulevard Pereire. Albert
Roussel (1869-1937) was at 11bis rue Viète then at 157 avenue de Wagram before moving into 2 square Gabriel Fauré.Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921) lived at 91 (or 83bis?) rue de Courcelles. Igor Stravinski (1882-1971) lived 21 rue Viète. The
American composer Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) put up at 9 rue Médéric.
Alphonse Allais (1854-1905) stayed at 7 rue Edouard Detaille. Tristan Bernard (1866-1947) lived rue Edouard Detaille then rue Eugène Flachat. Henri Barbusse
(1873-1935) lived at 105 rue de Courcelles. Alexandre Dumas fils (1824-1895) occupied a flat at 98 avenue de Villiers and died at 11 rue Ampère; he is best known for La Dame au Camélia who became Verdi's La Traviata. Joseph Kessel lived at 43 rue de Prony and Pierre Louys (1870-1925) at 147 boulevard Malesherbes; he was friend with André Gide and Paul Valéry; his Chansons de Bilitis were set to music by Debussy and Honegger made his Roi Pausole into an operetta. Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) spent a year in 1884 at 10 rue Jacques Bingen.
Catulle Mendès (1841-1909) who wrote libretti for both Emmanuel Chabrier and André Messager stayed at 160 boulevard Malsherbes. Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974) lived at 13 rue Fortuny between 1933 and 1950. Edmond Rostand (1868-1918) whose play l'Aiglon was written for Sarah Bernhardt, lived at 2 rue Fortuny. Victorien Sardou (1831-1908), author of Tosca, stayed at 64 boulevard de Courcelles.
la belle Otéro (1868-1965), star of variety and cinema was better known for a string of rich lovers which included the Prince of Wales, Léopold II of Belgium among others; she had a house at 27 rue Fortuny. Geneviève Lantelme (1887-1911) actress
and courtisane lived next to her at 29 rue Fortuny. Another "grande horizontale", Valtesse de La Bigne (1848-1910) had her "salon" at 98 bd Malsherbes where she welcomed Manet, Gervex, Courbet and many others thus earning her the nick-name of "Artists United"; her portrait can be seen at musée d'Orsay and her bed is on display at musée
des Arts Décoratifs. Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) who started out as a "demi-mondaine" lived at 35 rue Fortuny then had a house at 53 boulevard Pereire; she sat for many of the "local" painters. Yvette Guilbert (1868-1944) the great "diseuse" often sketched by Toulouse
Lautrec had her mansion (demolished) at 23bis boulevard Berthier. Princesse Mathilde (1820-1904), niece of Napoléon I, lived at 10 then 22 rue de Courcelles (the latter was demolished) where her literary "salon" included the Goncourt brothers and Gustave Flaubert. Madame Aubernon de Nerville had hers at 11 rue Jacques Bingen and Juliette Adam (1836-1936) had hers at 190 boulevard Malesherbes. Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) and her brother Raymond (1874-1966)
lived att 45 avenue de Villiers in 1900. Gabriel Astruc (1864-1938) impresario, lived at 44 rue Cardinet; thanks to him, Salomé by Richard Strauss (in 1907) and Diaghilev's ballets russes (in 1909) were premiered in Paris; he had the théatre des Champs-Elysées built by Auguste Perret in 1913.
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