Imagine the Lives of Artists at the Musée de Montmartre

Aside from being a must-see for fans of Renoir, Utrillo and Valadon, the Montmartre Museum is a true gem of a museum for anyone interested in Montmartre’s rich history, in terms of local history and the culture of the community. The gardens and surrounds also provide a green and tranquil space to enjoy for a few minutes off your feet!

The Collection

The permanent collection focuses on the local area and contains wonderful old photographs of Montmartre showing many views that are recognisable when compared to the streets today. Historic posters expose Montmartre’s boisterous character, bohemian spirit and zest for life, such as those promoting nightlife and entertainment venues such as the Chat Noir, and the Lapin Agile, and works by Toulouse-Lautrec promoting the unforgettable Moulin Rouge. Having attracted many artists since the 1870s, the collection, of course, also features many paintings both of the local area and further afield. In another nod to Montmartre’s lively past, there’s even a zinc bar!

Temporary exhibits celebrate an element of Montmartre life or a theme associated with the museum. The current Dufy exhibit celebrates the work of an artist once resident in the museum. Previous exhibits included ‘Artists of Montmartre’, ‘Van Dongen and the Bateau-Lavoir’ (a Montmartre artists’ studio, most famously used by Picasso), and ‘Montmartre, décor de cinéma’.


A Home to Artists

A unique feature of the Montmartre Museum, is that the buildings now welcoming visitors were formerly home to several artists. In typical Paris style, there is an impressive list above the museum entrance that includes, Pierre-August Renoir, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice Utrillo, and Raoul Dufy, to name a few. The private rooms of Suzanne Valadon have been restored so visitors can admire her studio and imagine their lives there.

Jardins Renoir, the garden of the Montmartre Museum

Renoir’s Gardens

The museum also benefits from calm and pretty gardens cleverly set out according to Renoir’s paintings. Café seating is set around a small pond, and there is a swing in the corner in the style of Renoir’s painting ‘The Swing’. The gardens border, to one side Montmartre’s vineyard, that still produces wine each year, and on another, one of Montmartre’s jardin sauvage – a green space left to grow wild, ensuring a peaceful setting.

The Museum also hosts events such as intimate candlelit concerts in the gardens, gardening workshops and children’s activities. So, it’s worth checking the Montmartre Museum website before visiting, to see what else is on offer.

Address: 8 – 14 Rue Cortot, 75018, Paris



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