The secrets of the Maison Rose de Montmartre

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article published on 09/05/2023

Discover the secrets of the Maison Rose de Montmartre

If you are in Paris, you will not fail to notice this pretty little house dressed in pastel pink and atypical green shutters. The Maison Rose de Montmartre is located a few steps away from the Montmartre Museum and the Jardin sauvage Saint-Vincent. This building has become a bohemian figure of the Butte Montmartre and is a source of inspiration for many artists and is full of different secrets.

The Maison Rose, Picasso’s canteen

The history of the Maison Rose de Montmartre dates back to the 1850s. At that time, the house was just one of many shacks in the village of Montmartre. In the 20th century, Laure Gargallo – called Germaine, wife of a painter and model for Picasso – decided to buy the house. After marrying her husband Ramon Pichot in Catalonia, Germaine opened a small family canteen on the first floor of the house for her artist friends. Inspired by the flamboyant colours of the Catalan houses, she decided to paint the house pink.

After Germaine’s death in 1948, Beatrice Miolano, originally from Northern Italy, took over the famous house with its pastel pink façade, assisted by her son Jean Miolano. The place was frequented by a wide range of artists, including the chansonniers who performed in Pigalle and in the cabarets of the Butte Montmartre. At a time when cabaret was popular, the Maison Rose welcomed Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Barbara and Jacques Brel. A few years later, it became a central place for talented artists such as the actor Alain Delon or the writer Albert Camus.

Montmartre, an artists’ district

The many painters who went to the Maison Rose resided at the nearby Bateau-Lavoir. Perched on the Butte Montmartre since 1892, the Bateau-Lavoir is one of the most famous artist residences in Paris. Initially, only Italian and Spanish artists were invited. 

In 1904, Pablo Picasso installed his brushes and colours in the Bateau-Lavoir to paint continuously for 5 years. It is even in this place he presented his famous painting “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”, beginning his cubist period. He even fell in love during his stay with the model Fernande Olivier. 

If Picasso undoubtedly remains the artist who marked the history of the Bateau-Lavoir, the residence welcomed many artists such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Jean Cocteau… All of them passed through the small and cramped workshops of the house considered at the time as the Villa Medicis of modern painting.

The Maison Rose, a family establishment

In 2017, Laurence, Beatrice Miolano’s granddaughter, took over the reins with the aim of affirming the culinary identity of the Maison Rose de Montmartre. The restaurant’s philosophy revolves around the memory of the Montmartre neighbourhood, its vegetable gardens and the owners’ family heritage.  

Within this famous little house, the objective is to gather all the people passing through – whether they are Parisians or not – around a convivial, creative and responsible table. The manager favours short circuits and works with producers who guarantee French, organic and sustainable agriculture.  

Discovering an authentic Montmartre

If you want to visit Paris, the Montmartre district is the place-to-be. Between its museums, its vineyards, its mills or, of course, its Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre remains an authentic village in the centre of Paris. The most famous Parisian district has lost nothing of the village that so appealed to the artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. As an emblematic figure of the places to be seen during a stay in Paris, Montmartre always delights tourists. 

To discover the history of this district in an original way, opt for a unique experience thanks to your smartphone. Our audio guide “Secret Montmartre” (The Hidden Side of Montmartre) will take you on a tour of legendary artists such as Picasso and Dalida, visit mythical old cabarets and discover the origin of the charming mills of the hilltop. Through this guided tour, you will discover the great classics of Montmartre such as the Sacré-Coeur as well as the secret places, far from the tourist circuits, such as the Villa Léandre or an old cabaret at the foot of the vineyards of the district. We also offer other guided tours of Paris to learn anecdotes about the must-see places of the French capital.     

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