Renoir’s house opposite the Château des Brouillards (Misty Castle)
Cross over Rue Lepic to the Moulin de la Galette side and now take the rising Rue Girardon. Continue straight on past a small park to your left. The route begins to gently descend. On a sweeping right hand bend you will see a small bronze statue of Dalida, behind it is the Château des Brouillards.
The information panel put up by the Mayor of Paris reads:
‘In spite of the legend, the country house built here in 1772 was not for the writer Lefrane de Pompignan, but for a lawyer from the Paris Parliament. The source of the poetically inspired mists has its origin, no doubt, in the water vapour from the nearby springs which, when it came into contact with the cool air of Montmartre, became mist.
In 1854 Gerard de Nerval, writing in his work “Illustration”, dreamt of a perfect oasis of peace: “What captivated me in this little space shaded by tall trees, was, first of all, what remained of the vineyard. The vineyard reminded me of St Denis…Then there was the proximity of the drinking pool, which, in the evening, came to life with the sight of horses and dogs being washed in it…wonderful place of retreat, perfectly quiet when the mood took it…”
Dilapidated and under the threat of demolition the Château des Brouillards was restored from 1922 to 1926.’
Jean Renoir’s birthplace
To the right of the footpath, directly opposite the garden of Misty Castle, at number 6, was Renoir’s residence from 1890-97. It was here in 1894 that the future film director Jean, his son, was born. The painting Gabrielle Renard and Infant Son Jean (1895-96) was probably painted here and can be seen in the Orangerie Museum near Place Concorde in Paris.
Dalida shows us the way
Dalida’s gaze towards the dome of the Sacré Coeur indicates the next stage of the walk up Rue de l’Abreuvoir. Follow the bend of Rue Girardon which now becomes Rue de l’Abreuvoir and starts to rise gently.
Rue de l’Abrevoir, which means the street of the drinking trough or pool, is so named because the farmers would drive livestock down it in order get to the spring which used to rise on the western side of the Château des Brouillards.
Number 12 Rue de l’Abreuvoir was one of Camille Pissarro’s residences. This central figure of the Impressionist movement is more associated with his main home in Pontoise a little to the north-west of Paris. Pissarro was an important influence on Cezanne encouraging him personally and helping him develop his colour range.
For wheelchair users, please return to wheelchair route Place Dalida and point 7.
Following the artists footsteps we now head for the area around Montmartre’s last vineyard.