Paris 1900-1930 – video

The film below was taken between1900 and 1930. Look at the clothes and notice how nearly everyone wore a hat!

Before this film was made – between 1850 and 1900 – we had seen the end of Academic art and the artists who were to become known as the Impressionists had began to make their mark. From the 1880/90’s the Post Impressionists such as Seurat or Gauguin were changing tastes again. The arrival of Picasso in Paris in the early years of the 1900s saw yet another change in the course of modern art because after Picasso painted Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon, nothing seemed to stay the same for very long. It seems to have accelerated the experimental aspect of art. Picture dealers sprung up and of course they encouraged their artists to produce something new – ‘the new improved version’ for which they would more easily be able to find a buyer.

During the middle period in which this film was taken, just after WW1, we had the mainly French artists of the Ecole Francaise producing paintings and sculptures.These years saw the arrival of foreign artists into the capital. Many of them found studios at La Ruche, the former wine pavilion of the Paris Exposition. La Ruche was designed by Eiffel of the famous tower and bought later by Alfred Boucher. Boucher let these studios at a very reasonable rate to foreign artists arriving in Paris who didn’t have a sous in their pocket. It was said they could arrive at the station in Paris without a penny between them and only two words of French, ‘rue Danzig’ where La Ruche was situated. They knew someone would give them some bread and a bed. As Chagall said at this time, ‘Poverty was a luxury’.  ‘Purism, Dadaism and Surrealism were next in line for their moment as the modern art world really began to take off.