Le Chat Noir - The black cat

Famous re-opening handbill of the Chat Noir
 by Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923)


The upcoming Book Three of Petit Paris is  titled Chat Noir, French of Black(Noir)Cat(Chat).

A unique name to citizens of Montmartre in Paris. The first cabaret there founded by Rodolphe Salis in 1881. A place for pianists, shadow play performers, artist, writers, poets, musicians...all about arts!

During the era of French Belle Époque, the golden age from 1872-1914, here, Montmartre was a paradise to the high and middle classes.

Shadow play scene by
Henri Rivière (1864-1951)

Café, wine bar, music, cancan dancing...here and there, day & night. The bohemian aroma floats in the air. It became the 18th arrondissement of Paris since 1 January 1860.

Le Chat Noir, Moulin Rouge, Maxim, Bateau-Lavoir, Place du Tertre,Sacré-cœur, Musée de Montmartre, Espace Dali...all well known!

A portrait of Rodolphe Salis
by Pierre Poterlet (1804-1881)

A small village was transformed into a modern world. The long forgotten suffering city during in the Franco-Prussian War and the 1871 Paris Commune which brought
communards buried alive on the butte of Montmartre - where the Basilica of Sacré-cœur was built later from 1876-1919.

What a sad history, it seems no where on earth can be vaccinated from War!

Same fate to the underclass, who barely shared any "fruit" from the flourish golden age; here, in Montmartre.

In the years between WWI & WWII, Francisque Poulbot who lived here, created illustrations, posters mostly concerning the living & needs of street kids; and at the same time, satirized the foolishness of War!

I shall say the feeling to Montmartre is "complicated". Wherever I see the prosperous side through its architecture/ history, it always link to the sorrow behind; but may be that's why it is so attractive, with a touch of regrettable and unforgettable...

P.S.: All photos are taken from the Musée de Montmartre.




或許"貪念"真是人類的天性, 地土、資源、財富、名聲、權力、慾望...沒完沒了.
心想控制了便等於擁有, 以為這一切便會永遠屬於自己, 可以坐着為皇, 世世代代千秋萬世, 真的嗎?

世界上從來沒有一件物件、一個人類、一個思想是屬於我或你. 容讓我以宗教角度而言, 萬物都是神所造, 除祂以外, 沒有人能掌管、能強行佔據. 神尚且讓人類有自由選擇跟隨祂與否的決定, 那麼, 我們憑什麼要同等的他/她向我們"依附"呢? 稍微壓制自我的驕傲, 容讓別人有個喘息空間, 真是那麼"丟臉"嗎? 我們...都是活在同一天空下的受造物, 為什麼不能逆轉"權力令人腐敗"這個咒詛呢?
是我們不能? 還是不願!

你認為對我的 "好", 可以"溫柔"地讓我明白嗎?
如果我的 "愚笨"未能理解並接受你的 "好意", 你能耐心一點, 也嘗試學會明瞭我的憂慮嗎?

是什麼逼使人瘋狂? 不再理性, 不再有同理心, 不再憐惜身邊的人, 不再明白自己在世上只是寄居的, 沒有佔有權...我想, 是"貪念", 也源於驕傲.

倘若世界已經變得無處可容身, 有一個地方仍然屬於你我, 就在我們的心中...一個只有神及自己可以觸及的地方.

倘若你已經很 "疲累", 就在那裡稍作休息罷!
請不要, 也不能絕望.


尋找 Francisque Poulbot

以往甚少會這樣把一篇文章分開寫和刋登, 多數會同時以 Bilingual Post Tag 去處理, 但是今次除了想尋找一幅由 Francisque Poulbot 繪畫的插畫名稱之外, 也實在很想介紹這位插畫師, 又或許法國人會較喜歡稱他為海報/名信片設計師. 由於篇幅稍長, 唯有分別刋登.

事源在巴黎蒙馬特(Montmartre)的博物館内被一系列展品吸引, 尤其這幅令我産生特別興趣, 正因為如此着迷, 連展品名稱及介紹也忘記査看,  不過這也是本人常發生的事...:P

這是一幅相對較特別的作品, 為什麼? 容讓我先來介紹這位畫家.

生於法國Saint-Denis 的畫家 Francisque Poulbot (1879-1946), 自1900年居於蒙馬特, 對當時舊巴黎被遺忘的街童 / 小童特別憐愛; 加上第一次世界大戰期間民間各種的苦况, 他在畫作中大部份以孩童作為主角, 從他們的角度去看/反諷戰爭所帶來的種種...於1923年, 他更在Rue Lepic 開設了ー間藥房, 藉此提供孩童所需; 正因為他的付出, 蒙馬特人特別竉愛這位畫家. 如果你和我一樣也喜愛 Victor Hugo 的 孤星涙 (Les Misérable), 在你看Poulbot的作品時, 也會因着有特別的感受而喜愛他.

Source from Wikimedia Common
不過在他反諷戰爭的同時, 也令他在二戰期間被囚. Poulbot 離世後"安睡於他的蒙馬特".

在博物館、圖書館或互聯網上找到不少他的印刷品或手稿展品. 除了彩色作品外, 我尤其喜歡他用單色繪畫的小孩, 也許很有童真純樸感, 也更表達到昔日孩童的缺乏. 而且, 如果仔細看看在畫作内的"對話", 很令人會心微笑.

雖然是法文, 但用手機翻譯, 即使未必完整, 也能會意. 以下是另外一幅我在館内拍下比較出名的作品.

il aura bouffé du boche
以下两幅可在網上找到, 雖然他的"戰地系列"似乎是較多人提及, 其實好些單色手稿或近似速寫的作品, 在繪畫孩童的形態時也很細緻及動人,
source from Wikimedia Common
Pas de blague! hein?...me les faut pour ce soir

在插畫下的"對白"再加上Poulbot的簽名, 是大部份作品的格式及名稱由來; 但剛巧我在尋找的那一幅只有他的簽名, 所以便成"謎"! 雖然在不同渠道也輾轉追査了個多月, 至今仍然沒有頭緒; 不過無論如何, 我相信終能找到. 如果適逢你知道, 可以告訴我嗎? 感激不盡 :D

Finding Francisque Poulbot

It's all started from this picture, I've spent almost two months to look for the title of this illustration, a very special one by Francisque Poulbot. Why I think this is special? May be first of all, I can tell you some information about him.                 
image from Wikimedia Common
If you like the story of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, you will also love this French Illustrator like me. Francisque Poulbot (1879-1946) was born in Saint-Denis in France, he was an affichiste (poster designer). He lived in Montmartre, the protagonist of his drawings was usually kids on the streets which he cared for, especially in the Paris old days of 1900s, they were the groups of forgotten.                                                                                                        He drawn a lot of pictures about them even in some of the patriotic posters and postcards during WWI, which finally lead him to be house arrested. He also opened a dispensary in 1923 on Rue Lepic to help children in Montmartre.

Here is another one I've took in the museum (sorry for the glass reflection), you can discover that usually there will be some "conversation" as I've described written at the bottom of the drawing followed by his signature.
il aura bouffé du boche

Pas de blague! hein?...me les faut pour ce soir
Some others you can find easily on the Wikimedia Common or lots of websites who admire his works. I myself especially love those in monotone, pure as those kids.

The one which I am looking for, besides Poulbot's signature on the flower card, there is no other data and it is so rarely introduced, I don't know why but I find it is a lovely illustration and hopefully one day I will find it's "name" or in case you know it, please drop a message to me, thank you!



Follow me

Follow me
Last post for Entrée Sortie is definitely the watercolor inside. Most of the museums I've been visited are located on the Right Bank, and they seems to be within distances from my hotel, but in fact, if you prefer to walk instead of taking metro, like me; you need a pair of super comfort shoes + full breakfast, I'll suggest. 

The most difficult decision is whether to have lunch even though, you need one indeed. But I always skip & replaced by fast food or apple because, the café will "drain" my time in the museum, and you will never never want to leave those relaxing café in Paris.

To fully utilize my Six(consecutive)days museum pass, a detailed plan is a must, but still, you'll have to alter your plan due to unexpected scenario; such as renovation or maintenance will temporary close a particular gallery, or a special exhibition may restrict your pass entry in ordinary situation...,etc.

Visiting museum is joyful and indulgence especially in solo, because you don't have any time limit or neediness to concern third parties' issue :P - but of course, the core is you enjoy being alone.

Let me tell you a secret, my original plan is to buy two Six day Pass, but fortunately I've decided not to over estimate of my power and I really need some time to digest/absorb the content.

To conclude my museum journey, I draw this map to share with you, when you follow my steps, I hope you can also share my happiness as well. See you :D




Musée National Picasso Paris

Day 7: Cold & rainy morning /17531 steps

Let's skip day 6 in the mean time,I will get back to you when Book Three is ready, but, this time, will have to wait for a while.

So, lets visit this museum which I shall say it is raw and subtle - Musée National Picasso Paris.

Situated in a historic monument since 1968 - Hôtel Salé, built between 1656 & 1660. Almost 365 years before? Wow! 

I am totally disconnected from reality and try to walk into Picasso's mind. Before this trip, I saw a T.V. series in Hong Kong about his whole life; so, more or less it helps to understand/feel a bit more when perceiving his works. 

Those two paintings in Entrée Sortie may not be the most famous one, but I personally like them a lot. They are so simple, a view from window, may be; what we often do in our daily life, but in Picasso's eyes, they became extraordinary. 

It is raining outside right now, a bit grey...but when I view from here, I see color

Besides Picasso's work, I love to view from the windows of this monument, it's frame & a bit distorted glazing, creating an illusory effect, and that's why I can be detached.

Exposed timber structure in the ceiling

But when these timber structure appear somewhere in the building, sometimes they form part of his art piece; the contradiction of antiquity & cubism forms an interesting combination yet harmonize. 

It's stop raining outside when I've finished to enjoy the last art piece; it's time to return to reality, although I wish there is no Sortie.