2020/07/04

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.
 

 

No comments:

Post a Comment