Oil on cardboard – 9,5 x 7 inch – Unique work

Montmartre is, above all, a district of the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It is a hilltop with the Sacré-Coeur basilica at the top and the Place du Tertre at its feet. It has also been a welcoming land for many artists since the 19th century: Picasso, Modigliani, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice Utrillo, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Matisse, Kees van Dongen, among the best known.

Montmartre also holds a certain number of memories for me. Regrets, bursts of laughter, culture. But also a new page, a passion, colors, a painting for a birthday gift.

It was for my birthday with my parents. I must have been in my thirties, I didn’t know how to paint or draw at the time. My father really liked this place. While we were walking around the Place du Tertre with all these painters, caricaturists, under their red tents, my father suddenly asked me if I wanted a portrait of myself. I refused, embarrassed, I simply didn’t dare. Like it was too much for me. I’m still thinking about it, but it’s too late. Never refuse a gift, ever!

Another time, with a couple of friends and my daughter, we were eating in a restaurant near Place du Tertre. We were at dessert when suddenly, black clouds appeared and it started falling heavily. Water was flowing into the gutters. The level was starting to rise. Instead of being worried, we were laughing. We had to leave the place, eventually. We walked with our feet in the water, exalted. Maybe we drank a little too much wine!

And then there is also this time when I finally visited the Sacré-Coeur basilica with a friend who is an expert on the subject. I learned a lot about this magnificent place. What captivated me the most is the cul-de-four of the apse of the choir decorated with a mosaic, the largest in France, representing the Sacred Heart of Jesus surrounded by the Virgin Mary and Saint Michael and kneeling Pope Leo XIII and Joan of Arc.

The cherry on top: its location at an altitude of 130 m, very close to one of the highest points in Paris offering a fantastic view of the city.

Finally, last year, one of my paintings, representing a street in Montmartre with a view of the basilica, went to a young woman’s house as a gift for her birthday!