Le Bateau-Lavoir

Le Bateau-Lavoir was a squalid block of buildings in Montmartre, Paris situated at 13 Rue Ravignan (Place Emile Goudeau). The place is famous because at the turn of the 20th century a group of outstanding artists lived and rented artistic studios there. First artists started to settle at the Bateau-Lavoir in the 1890s but after 1914 they started to move elsewhere (mainly Montparnasse).

The name of the place means the laundry-boat because it resembled boats of laundry women. Indisputably the most famous resident of the place was Pablo Picasso (1904-1909). He reputedly invented cubism there and painted one of his finest works Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Other well-known artists who lived in the Bateau-Lavoir:

At that time the tenement house was a meeting place of a lot of prominent figures of artistic avant-garde, like Guillaume Apollinaire, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Jean Cocteau, Gertrude Stein and others. According to his daughter, Jeanne, while living there Amedeo Modigliani one night in an alcoholic rage destroyed a number of his friends paintings.

In 1908 a celebration banquet for Henri Rousseau was organized in Picasso's studio in the Bateau-Lavoir.

See also: La Ruche, in Montparnasse, Paris.


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