Sunday, June 14, 2015
At the Lapin Agile
Ever since seeing Picasso's wonderful painting "At the Lapin Agile", I've wanted to see this notorious cabaret for myself and on my last trip to Paris, I made a point of locating it. After climbing a cobblestoned hill along Rue Saint Vincent (I featured photos from this street on a previous post), I was rewarded with the familiar sight of that pink and green building on the corner with Rue des Saules. The place has a rather well-worn, ramshackle look to it which is exactly what I was hoping it would look like. I've seen various paintings of the building and it was refreshing to see it looking just as I had imagined.
The cabaret was the local Montmartre hang-out for artists, writers, pimps and eccentrics but it was made famous by Picasso's painting and more recently by Steve Martin's play "Picasso at the Lapin Agile".
The Lapin Agile was first called "Cabaret des Assassins" because a band of assassins broke in and killed the owner's son. In 1875, the artist Andre Gill painted a picture of a rabbit jumping out of a saucepan on the side of the building and locals started calling it "Le Lapin a Gill" or Gill's rabbit. That name soon morphed into Lapin Agile which translates to nimble rabbit. That's what it's been called ever since.
One of my friends took this photo of me standing by the lamp post at the corner. Since I had dragged them along on my search for this place, they figured I needed a photo to remember it by.