Located on the banks of the Seine River, this former barge-turned-studio was once home to some of the most famous artists in history.
Built in 1885 by French architect Gustave Eiffel, Le Bateau-Lavoir was originally used as a floating laundry facility for local residents. However, it soon became a popular gathering place for Bohemian intellectuals and avant-garde painters such as Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani. The unique atmosphere attracted many other renowned artists including Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Juan Gris who were all drawn to its creative energy.
The name “Bateau Lavoir” (meaning “laundry boat”) comes from its original purpose, but also reflects the lively artistic culture that developed inside its walls during this time period. In fact, many people referred to it as “the birthplace of cubism” due to the influence these influential painters had on each other’s work while living there together.
In addition to being an important centre for art production during this era, Le Bateau Lavoir also served as a meeting place where writers like Guillaume Apollinaire could discuss their ideas with fellow creatives such as Jean Cocteau or Andre Breton over drinks at one of its two bars located inside the building itself.
Today Le Bateau Lavoir still stands proudly along Montmartre’s cobblestone streets, although much of its original charm has been lost over time due to renovations made throughout the years since World War II ended in 1945 when it first opened up again after closing during wartime occupation by Nazi forces occupying Paris at that time.