Author(s): John Baxter
In the second portrait of his series Great Parisian Neighborhoods, award-winning raconteur John Baxter leads us on a whirlwind tour of Montmartre, the hill-top village that fired the greatest achievements of modern art while also provoking bloody revolution and the sexual misbehavior that made Paris synonymous with sin High on the northern edge of Paris, Montmartre has always attracted bohemians, political radicals, the searchers for artistic inspiration as well as those hungry for pleasure. In its winding, windmill-shadowed streets, which, only fifty years before, saw the anarchist rising of the Commune, Renoir, Picasso and van Gogh seized a similar freedom to remake painting, while, in the tenderloin of Pigalle, Toulouse-Lautrec drew the cancan dancers of the Moulin Rouge, celebrating a hedonism that titillated the world, In Montmartre, bestselling author and IACP Award winner John Baxter lifts the curtain on a district that visitors to Paris seldom see. From the tumbledown workshops of the Bateau Lavoir in which Picasso and Braque created Cubism to Clichy's Cabaret of Nothingness where guests dined at coffins under lamps of human bones, the whole of this mysterious enclave is ours to explore. For visitors and armchair travelers alike, Montmartre captures the excitement and scandal of a fascinating quarter that condenses the elusive perfumes, colors and songs of Paris.
John Baxter has lived in Paris for more than twenty years. He is the author of four acclaimed memoirs about his life in France: The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France; The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris; Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas; and We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light. Baxter, who gives literary walking tours through Paris, is also a film critic and biographer whose subjects have included the directors Fellini, Kubrick, Woody Allen, and most recently, Josef von Sternberg. Born in Australia, he lives with his wife and daughter in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood, in the same building Sylvia Beach called home.