May 29, 2007

Le Moulin de la Galette

I will now and then come back to my Montmartre visit the other day. (By the way, I have created a second blog, “Peter – photos, where I for the moment have put the original photos which were part of my patchwork from Montmartre and Place des Abbesses.)

Today a few words about “Le Moulin de la Galette”:

Originally there were a great number of windmills on Montmartre (maybe thirty), but "Le Moulin de la Galette" is now the only remaining one. Originally it was called “Le Blute Fin” (The Fine Grounded Flour). It belonged to a miller family with four sons, who were all killed during fights between Russians and local defenders which took place on Montmartre in 1814 (Napoleon…). The eldest brother was killed the last, at the family windmill, but had first managed to give a fatal rifle blow killing the Russian commander. He was cut into pieces by the Russians and they used the pieces to “decorate” the mill wings. The four brothers were buried in the small local cemetery and their mother put a red painted miniature windmill on top of the grave. You can still visit this small cemetery, but only once a year (November 1). The grave is still there, but the miniature windmill has lost its colour. Anyhow, this red painted miniature mill became famous and later gave the name to the worldwide known “Moulin Rouge” (where no flour has ever been grounded).

The son of the eldest brother participated in the fight where his father was killed. He was seriously wounded and decided to change activity. He transformed the mill to a “guinguette” (small place for eating and dancing) and changed the name to “Le Moulin de la Galette” (Galette = thin pancake).

The “guinguette” was much visited and painted by some famous artists, like Corot, Renoir, van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, van Dongen, Picasso, Utrillo...

There is today a restaurant at Montmartre with a small windmill on top of it. The restaurant is called “Le Moulin de la Galette”, and many would think that this is the real one.

However, the real windmill with this name is slightly behind this restaurant and can hardly be seen; the close access to the mill is today not possible, but I have some distant photos, where you can imagine it behind the leaves.

Correction: This info is slightly false. Please see a hopefully improved version on my post of March 25, 2009, on my new blog, Peter's Paris. (Click above undr "HERE".)

I made a comparison between what Utrillo painted and what I could see. Not too much of a difference, except that the trees have grown. I should try again in December, when the leaves are not there any more.


black feline said...

what an interesting story...any idea about Moulin Rouge?

isabella said...

Oh, my! Those gruesome Russians ;-)
Nice idea to do a comparison with Utrillo!

Olivier said...

Encore bravo pour ce reportage. d'accord avec miss Isabelle, belle idee cette comparaison avec Utrillo

lyliane said...

Voilà des peintres que j'adore.Des rues et endroits peints en ce temps là n'ont pas encore disparus .Il faut que je retourne admirer ces tableaux, mais sont ils encore à l'Orangerie ou bien au musée du quai d'Orsay?

hpy said...

Juste une question, quand est-ce que tu dors?
(J'ai vu un commentaire sur le blog de Maxime, posté par un dénommé Peter entre 3 et 4 heures du matin il me semble...)

April said...

That arises a lot of memories. When I visited Paris first as a young girl I was in a dirty little hotel in rue Tholozé, just underneath that windmill. Paris represented all love and romanticism and bohème for me. In the room beside ours there was a young French painter ...

Peter said...

Why did you stop the story with the ...?

Anonymous said...

Excellent story, Peter. I read it all with great interest. Your photos are very nice, as usual.

I didn't do much today but...

I did write about how people used to wear long underwear over winter or until we began to stink. You can find the link at the bottom of the post today.
Brookville Daily Photo

Princess Banter said...

Those are really lovely pictures -- it makes me want to go visit it too. Was it fun walking down those roads? Next time I go to France, I'll make sure to go :)

Cuckoo said...

I like the way you describe things along with the photos. Quite informative.

Btw, have you seen my other blog where I narrate sweet-sour experiences of my travel ?

This is the link.

inspired said...

the windmill does look very much like a real one..

Anonymous said...

What a story, but very interesting one! Excellent photos in your other blog too. A little the air of Paris, thanks!

richard said...

Great story Peter, and I like the idea of including the artists offerings. It's always interesting to see a) how things have changed and b) how the artists have interpreted the scene

Ash said...

Love the photo-painting comparison!

Yes, there's not too much of a difference...nicely done!

catherine said...

bonjour Peter : c'est vraiment sympa d'avoir fait ce deuxièpme blog avec les photos de la ballade de Montmartre : j'ai vu, d'ailleurs le passe muraille de Marcel Aymé.
Et je trouve très chouette l'idée de conforonter présent avec tes photos et le passé avec les toiles de ces artistes.
En parlant de vision du passé je suppose que tu connais Atget, le photographe d'un Paris disparu. Ce serait une idée (à mon avis d'autres l'on eu avant ) de confronter les deux Paris celui de ses photos et le tien.
je cherche le lien et je te le poste.

catherine said...

A cette adresse tu pourras trouver de nombreuses phtos d'Atget.

Peter said...

Merci Catherine pour cette adresse. Je l'ai déjà mis dans mes "favorits".

delphinium said...

parfait votre blog, j'apprends plein de choses, je découvre de belles photos, et en plus je fais travailler mes neurones en anglais. Et Montmartre, c'est le quartier que j'avais préféré en allant à Paris, sans doute parce que c'est un petit quartier à part, une sorte de petit village. Moi qui viens d'un petit village de montagne, je me retrouvais un peu sur cette butte. Alors que le reste de Paris m'avait vite aspirée...

GMG said...

Well Peter, now I've to retire to have some time to enjoy your blogs!
Great shots, lovely post on the Moulin and the beautiful paintings to match! Fantastic! I've added a link to your blog at Blogtrotter.

aline_rios said...

Hi Peter! My name is Aline and I´m from Brasil. Could you give me the Moulin de la Galette adress? Thanks!

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