An American In Paris 1945

I stumbled on this Great. photo, dont know who took it or who the artist is but I like it a lot.


  • Back then they did not have our fancy plein air modern equipment, but seems to be traveling quite light anyway. Where did you find the photo ?
  • wow...such character...wonder if people were genuinely curious about artists in the street then? I love this capture of he holding 2 brushes in his right hand or is it the double image
  • Evocative image, wonderful photography. Found the source

    From the March 18 1946 cover story PARISIt Belongs Also To Parisians The image ran with the following caption Montmartre under the chalk-white dome of Sacre Coeur was the Bohemia of Trilbys day and later a place of tawdry entertainment Today

    From the March 18, 1946 cover story PARIS—It Belongs Also To Parisians. The image ran with the following caption: “Montmartre, under the chalk-white dome of Sacre Coeur, was the Bohemia of Trilby’s day and later a place of tawdry entertainment. Today is has again become what it was in centuries past—a village within a city. There are too few taxis now to take travelers up the steep hills to Montmartre and too few places of entertainment to persuade people to climb the long stairs and the wearying cobbled streets. The street painter now finds few foreigners to buy his pictures of the little curving street.” (Ed Clark—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
  • My thoughts too @adridri.

    Im in some artists groups on facebook and it was posted in one of those.
  • Yes @judith, its a great scene and he has painted it well from what can I can make out.
  • Thank you Abstraction for researching and putting in the details  :)
  • Thanks for posting the photo, @MichaelD. It's a marvelous picture. I know the area quite well. The black and white photo and the post war grime makes the quartier look a bit run-down but still rustic and charming. When I lived in Paris in the 1980s, I remember quite often seeing street artists in this area and on the Seine bridges. And the steps up to Sacre Coeur were always crowded, especially on weekends. It's a wonderful city. 
  • edited December 2022
    Glad you like it @tassieguy, yes I love the rustic charm of it too.
    I visited Paris in the late 80s when I was in my late 20s and had some wonderful memories.

    I recall going to an agency to organise going grape picking while in France. I could barely speak the language and the guy asked me how I was going to do this if I didn’t speak the language.

    I came away thinking,`Does he think im going to be speaking to the grapes` :)

    I recall going past a little bar in a street which had a lot of character. There was a dog sleeping outside and a cat on the bar counter and I was drawn to go in having spotted a guitar.
    The owner let me play it then asked me to come back in the evening to play when the customers were in, so I did this a few times for free beer.

    I recall one rather surreal event when `I ended. up playing pool with a group of gendarmes in the bar. But they were actually actors in a film that was being made nearby..

    Going insane near the Seine.  :)
  • Thank you @MichaelD for posting this and @Abstraction for the story behind it.  I can feel the history.  His plein air study is really great when opening up and enlarging the photo.  I hope he was a successful artist and sold many paintings.  Were there people who would stop and watch the street artists in Parish or was it just a common site and everyone would walk past @tassieguy?  Again, love this photo.
  • It was a very common sight, @A_Time_To_Paint. It was mainly tourists who would stop to look. The artists would be painting and have many of their works on display and for sale. Mostly small works which they sold mainly to tourists. The Parisians were blasé about it.  :)
  • tassieguy said:
    ... Mostly small works which they sold mainly to tourists. The Parisians were blasé about it.  :)
    That last sentence... very humorously put.  =)
  • I am glad you like it @A_Time_To_Paint, yes I think he has done a splendid job of it. 

    Its easy to see how this photo appeals to artists.

  • I love this extraordinary photograph. Have it in my folders for many years. The photograph itself is a work of art! It's one of those images that actually created an effect in my mind...inspiration to me before I took up plein air painting. Never painted bigger than 8X10 till now so this definately is still inspiring. Want to paint big outside on my own tripod easel in an open field. I got all that artist has  :) 
  • edited December 2022
    The painters were still there when I checked two months ago. :) I also wanted to see the street on Montmartre where Renoir lived and had his studio. It begins 100 m off the main tourist area. But all buildings seemed to be newer.
  • I agree @Kaustav this photograph is indeed a work of art  :)
  • edited December 2022
    We can't see the color but when I look at the guy's painting and the landscape it depicts, I see he's nailed the values.  This suggests that the painting probably looks good in color, too. 
  • @tassieguy,
    Yes Rob I agree, it would look great in colour too.

    Perhaps there is a version that has been tinted/coloured as some do with the black and whit photos.  :)
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