Life

Montparnasse: The Legendary Haunt of Artists and Muses

  Place names with the word Mongolian in France are usually mountains – the French word for mountain is Montagne, so Mont Blanc is also called Mont Blanc. The French meaning of Montparnasse is actually Mount Parnassus in Greece: the legendary muse their residence. Historically, this is indeed the case. The great poet Apollinaire believed that Montparnasse in the 1920s was the Montmartre of the past: a temporary place for artists, especially those who had not yet made a fortune.
  In the 1920s, Montparnasse had low rents and was full of cafes, making it suitable for poor artists to live, socialize and help each other. Every new artist is like being integrated into a dormitory, gaining everyone’s love. When the great Japanese painter Tsuguharu Fujita came to Paris and Montparnasse in 1913, he didn’t recognize anyone at first glance. As a result, he had just met Pinchus Cremene, a painter from Lithuania, and they met that night. The nearby great Italian painter Modigliani, the Bulgarian painter Pasin and the French native Léger, within a few weeks, he met Picasso and Matisse, who had become masters at that time. That was Montparnasse back then: you could know everyone at any time.
  Such a wonderful vortex naturally attracts other people: people who have great influence on the art world, such as Gertrude Stein and Peggy Guggenheim; writers who are willing to deal with painters come , such as James Joyce, Hemingway and Faulkner who have not yet become famous. Montparnasse even attracted more than just artists: Lenin and Trotsky both visited here when they were in exile.
  Of course, it’s not just the artists who are moving. When Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda lived in Paris, they liked to go to Montparnasse for night walks. The cafés in Montparnasse are particularly friendly to artists: they can occupy a table for an entire night at incredibly low prices; waiters will be told not to disturb poor artists who are sleeping in their seats. Drunk fights and disputes are common, but most bosses settle the matter without calling the police. Victor Libion, owner of Café Rotonda, even does it regularly. “Boss, I have no money to pay the bill. Can I use this draft to pay the bill?” “Okay!”
  Hemingway told a story: He met the drunken painter Pasin at the Dome Cafe, saying that Pasin was at the same time Teasing two beauties… But Paxin’s life in the human world came to a tragic end. He fell in love with his model Lucy Kroger, but Pasin had a wife, Hermione, and Kroger was also married. He drank heavily, fell apart, and finally hanged himself on June 2, 1930, the day of the opening of his exhibition: he wrote “Goodbye Lucy” on the studio wall with his own blood, and was buried in Montparnasse Cemetery. .
  And this is by no means the only tragic love affair in Montparnasse. The Italian painter Modigliani came to Paris in 1906 and first lived in Montmartre for three years. He was well-known for his gentleness. Three years later, when he moved to Montparnasse, he suddenly became drunk and violent. When he was sober, he often sketched in various restaurants in Montparnasse in exchange for food; when he was drunk, he would cry to someone at the bar. Then he met love here: he fell in love with Jeanne Ebutaner. For the sake of love, he also wanted to quit drinking, but it was too late and his health was not right. He desperately wanted to sell some paintings so that he could take Jeanna back to his hometown in Italy. In January 1920, he coughed and coughed up blood and was diagnosed with tuberculous meningitis. Modigliani died on January 24, and the day after the funeral, Jeanne, pregnant with her and Modigliani’s second child, jumped from the fifth-floor apartment.
  Yes, this is Montparnasse. It’s filled with artists and their muses, and similar sad stories.
  In the 1930s, the artists of the Montparnasse generation gradually left; in the 1960s, Montparnasse became a business district. It now has the Atlantic Garden, a tram line, and the Montparnasse train station, making it a perfect office and transportation area. Now if you take the metro, you still have to change at Montparnasse from time to time. However, it is no longer the Montparnasse of the 1920s.

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