Picasso’s First Studio in Paris 1900

Picasso joins the Montmartre artistic milieu in 1900

Point 3, 49 Rue Gabrielle Montmartre Picasso’s first studio

A greyed out general map of the In the Footsteps of the Artists Tour of Montmartre featuring a clear area on the map showing Picasso’s two early 20th century studios in Paris; 49 Rue Gabrielle Paris 75018 and the Bateau Lavoir, Place Emile Goudeau both in Montmartre Paris 75018.
Highlighted area shows point 2 the Bateau Lavoir and point 3 Rue Gabrielle studios where Picasso lived and worked in early 1900s. © OpenStreetMap contributors, the Open Database Licence (ODbL).
personalised keys to the OpenStreetMap map of the walk In the Footsteps of the Artists around Montmartre.
Keys to sights and directions. © David Macmillan.

Continue on up the hill following the winding Rue Ravignan for about 100 metres. At the junction bear right, this is Rue Gabrielle. On the corner of Rue Gabrielle where it joins Rue Ravignan is Number 49 Rue Gabrielle. This is the site of Pablo Picasso’s first studio in Paris. Whilst Pablo Picasso is more closely associated with the Bateau Lavoir studios just down the road, this is where he stayed and worked when he first came to Paris with his friend Casagemas for the Paris World Fair in 1900.

An OpenStreetMap detail of the signed route map from Rue Ravignan to Place Emile Goudeau to Rue Gabrielle in Montmartre. The map shows three points of interest; point 1 Pere Azon/Relais de la Butte, point 2 the Bateau Lavoir artists studios and point 3 Picasso’s first studio in Paris in 1900.
Detail of map showing the proximity of point 1 Père Azon/Relais de la Butte, point 2 the Bateau Lavoir and point 3 Picasso’s first studio Rue Gabrielle. © OpenStreetMap contributors, the Open Database Licence (ODbL).

Berthe Weill and the first modern art gallery in Paris

He painted his version of the Moulin de la Galette here. Thanks to a contact in the Spanish community in Paris, Picasso was introduced to Berthe Weill who was the first gallery owner to specialise in modern art in Paris.

Berthe Weill was exceptional; she only dealt in modern art and she was a woman gallery owner in what was then very much a male dominated milieu. She was also the first to deal in Picasso paintings. Another famous art dealer and gallery owner, Ambroise Vollard, was the first to organise a Picasso show one year later in 1901. It was Berthe Weill who bought and sold Picasso’s Moulin de la Galette.

The subsequent (1901) suicide of Casagemas plunged Picasso into depression. He left 49 Rue Gabrielle and entered his Blue Period (1901- 1904), painted in Spain and Paris.

Tourists pause to look up and take a picture of Picasso’s first residential studio in Montmartre. The four storey building is about 200 meters from the more famous Bateau Lavoir studios. It is situated 49 Rue Gabrielle Paris 75018.
49 Rue Gabrielle, Picasso’s first studio in Paris 1900.

You may also be interested in his Absinthe Drinker from this period. It was painted in 1901 and can be viewed in the Orsay Museum Paris but was executed at another Picasso residence and workshop: 130 ter. Boulevard de Clichy. Studies of women drinking absinthe is a recurrent theme among Montmartre artists (see Degas’ famous example in the Orsay Museum).

Montmartre and the green fairy

A woman drinking absinthe, in a painting, was understood to be a prostitute or somebody at the bottom of the social scale. Absinthe was highly alcoholic, and was believed to be hallucinogenic. Absinthe (a.k.a, ‘la fée verte’ ‘the green fairy’ because of its colour) has become associated with Montmartre and its artists. Toulouse-Lautrec was said to have had a glass flask full of absinthe inserted in his cane. Both the absinthe drinker painting and the Moulin de la Galette by Picasso owe much in style and subject matter to Toulouse-Lautrec who had died in 1901.

An OpenStreetMap detail of the signed route map from point 3 Rue Gabrielle to point 4 the Moulin de la Galette turning right from Rue Ravignan into Rue d’Orchampt and following this street to the Moulin de la Galette.
The route leading from point 3 Picasso’s first studio to point 4 the Moulin de la Galette. © OpenStreetMap contributors, the Open Database Licence (ODbL)

For wheelchair route users return to point 9 Bateau Lavoir.

Dalida’s house

Now go back the way you came down Rue Ravignan, downhill this time. Just before the corner of the Bateau Lavoir building turn right into Rue d’Orchampt. Continue to what looks like a dead end, where the street narrows and turns sharply right. On the corner dominating the scene is what has become known as Dalida’s house.

Dalida was a popular singer in France and she made her home here for many years. Her house is the first port of call in Montmartre for her many thousands of dedicated French fans.  The plaque on the wall says: ‘Dalida lived in this house from 1962 to 1987. Her Montmartre friends will never forget her.’

A sunny view of the French pop singer Dalida’s house situated in Rue d’Orchampt Paris 75018
Dalida’s house Rue d’Orchampt Montmartre.

Follow what is now no more than an alley to the end of Rue d’Orchampt. On front of you now is a windmill. Following in the footsteps of Picasso we have now arrived at Le Moulin de la Galette.