Sunday, January 20, 2013

A French Painting with a Story

While in gay Paris last fall, I purchased this darling little Impressionistic painting at a flea market:

(I've propped it in this frame to photograph.  I still must have it properly framed)

The painting depicts a street in Montmartre, rue l'Abrevoir.

An abrevoir (a French word with which I was unfamiliar) is a watering trough for animals,  as the vendor explained to me.  

If you look closely, the Sacre-Coeur Basilica is visible in the distance:

I really like the soft, muted colours in the painting, although shades of pink and lavender don't really seem to work in any room right now.

I especially like the butterscotch and teal blue tones on the left side:

The vendor was an elderly man who said the artist, Fremont (he told me the first name which I forgot an hour later), had painted these small paintings in the 1940's and had been a rather prolific local painter.

Two other paintings in the set were also for sale.  The vendor said he had bought them a long time ago and kept them for himself for many years. He was reluctant to break up the trio, but I only wanted the single painting.  

On hindsight, I am also fond of the one below, which depicts the ubiquitous steep Montmartre stairways.  However, since the price was also steep, I only took the one:

The vendor also took pictures of the three paintings before I left, and seemed a bit teary-eyed to part with any of them.  He seemed like a kind fellow and we talked quite a while, as I struggled to cope with his lovely but very quickly spoken French.  He did seem thankful that the painting was going to an interested person with a sympathetic spirit.

When I got home, I was rather curious about rue l'Abrevoir, about whether the scene existed or was a construct of the artist's imagination.

So I Google-mapped it and sure enough, here is the street from the painting:

Note the street lamp on the left, the triangular-roofed building (now painted white) on the left with the dormer windows and chimney, and the stone wall to the right with trees atop it:
Further along the street you can see the pink house in the distance which appears in the painting:

The artist took some license, as the roof of the Sacre Coeur is just barely visible through the trees and not so prominently located as in the painting (unless perhaps the buildings blocking it in the distance were not there in the 1940's).

There is nothing better than owning a thing which has a story reaching back into the past. 


  1. I love this. Only you would get such a find! Wow! Lovely and then to find the photo of the actual street. I love that he took photos of his work. How romantic.
    I thought of Gomez Adams when I read your french. Remember what he used to say, "Mortisha, I love it when you talk french!" Hee hee.

    1. Thanks for the sweet comment. :)

  2. Ahhh...knowing the provenance is wonderful. Perhaps you'll print off this post and attach it somehow to the back of the frame when it is done. The seller sounds like a dear man who was just sorry that you were not more "in the chips" than he might have wished since he didn't want to split up the trio. They are all lovely paintings and you are blessed to have the one you really wanted; it is a real charmer.

  3. Lucky find! When we were in Paris last July, I searched for some artwork from a local artist. Unfortunately I came home with nothing.. so I guess I'll have to go back!! This is such a beautiful painting. The soft, muted colors are stunning.

  4. Lovely. I was in Paris and the only thing I wanted was a painting to bring home of a lovely Parisian locale but I also found nothing that I could afford. $30,000.00 was the one painting I thought I couldn't live without, until I heard the price.

  5. This is so cool that you found the actual if that painting needs anything to make it more special. The one you chose is an absolute gem. I think I love like this one even more than the horse riding one. A winter scene can look so cold but the warm colors of this one is what make it so special. I can't tell the medium and substrate from the photos. Is it oil on board?

    1. Steve,
      I know - I was keen to see the street once he told me the name but we ran out of time to go there. Yes, it appears to be oil. It is on board. I love it - now it just needs to be suitably framed - that could be a process to sort out what it requires.

      xo T.

  6. What a charming painting, with a wonderful story. As someone else has suggested, attaching the painting's provenance to the back would be a great idea.

    I love wintry scenes. Do you keep them up all year round, or do you change out your art according to the season?

  7. Anonymous12:25 am

    BRAVO and WELL DONE!!!!

    This is the fun of the "curious" and the fun of the "chase"!!

    You won!

    I hope you will wqant to continue!



  8. I like your paintings and i understand the concept of story. I appreciate your work.
    Thanks for sharing.
    industrial painting contractors

  9. What a nice backstory. Great colors in the painting.

  10. Beautiful painting, Terri. I absolutely love it. I think it would look terrific in a silver leaf frame. Or lemon gold. Or even a period Montparnasse frame. And great research, my friend :)

    1. Thanks Loi. Yes, I really have to think about a frame!!

  11. Beautiful painting & it's amazing that you found the place on Google maps!

  12. Anonymous4:12 am

    Does your site have a contact page? I'm having problems locating it but, I'd
    like to send you an email. I've got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

    my blog post ... idealize
    My homepage : nightdress

  13. Anonymous4:24 am

    Hey! My name is Karol and I really just wanted to say your blog site is awesome!
    It really is surprising simply because I
    use to have a site that practically had an identical url: http://www. mine was only a few
    characters different. Anyhow, I am a big admirer of your site and if you ever want a
    guest post make sure you email me personally at: kurtmccutcheon@web.
    de. I absolutely adore writing!

    Feel free to surf to my blog motor sports
    Here is my site ... weeknight

  14. Anonymous4:30 am

    Do you have a spam issue on this website;
    I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice methods and we are looking
    to exchange solutions with others, please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

    Feel free to surf to my web page - cobra
    Here is my web site ; undercharge

  15. Anonymous6:33 am

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

    Here is my webpage getting

  16. Anonymous9:31 pm

    Please let me know if you're looking for a article author for your weblog. You have some really good posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd absolutely
    love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back
    to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.


    My web-site -

  17. Anonymous6:03 am

    Hi! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you
    using for this website? I'm getting sick and tired of Wordpress because I've had
    problems with hackers and I'm looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    Also visit my web blog :: laughingstock

  18. Anonymous9:22 pm

    Hiya. I was thinking about adding a link back to your website since both of our websites are centered around the same
    topic. Would you prefer I link to you using your site address: or blog title:
    Blogger: ~ Wind Lost ~. Please make sure to let me know at your
    earliest convenience. Thank you

    My blog post ... vage

  19. Anonymous12:57 am

    We absolutely love your blog and find many of your post's to be exactly what I'm looking for.
    Does one offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
    I wouldn't mind creating a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome site!

    Here is my homepage: vage

  20. Anonymous2:10 am

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can
    be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has
    83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    My webpage rotting chemical

  21. Anonymous12:44 pm

    Howdy. I was contemplating adding a backlink back to your blog
    since both of our web sites are centered around the same
    subject. Would you prefer I link to you using your website address: http://www.
    or blog title: Blogger: ~ Wind Lost ~. Please let
    me know at your earliest convenience. Kudos

    Feel free to visit my web site :: automatske

  22. Anonymous7:37 pm

    Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with
    us so I came to take a look. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Great blog and superb style and design.

    Feel free to visit my web site ... removal tree

  23. Anonymous3:34 am

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?

    I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. Nevertheless think about if you added some great visuals or
    videos to give your posts more, "pop"! Your content is excellent but
    with images and videos, this blog could undeniably be one of the very
    best in its niche. Good blog!

    Here is my site: driveway paving

  24. Anonymous12:46 am

    Neuropsychiatric problems are likewise an imperative form Portion of Parkinson's Disease and the trembling symptoms until they are pointed out to you by a admirer or loved one. drug treatments normally aim to step-up the tier of dopamine that reaches the clumsiness, and deprivation of equipoise could so be evident. later on 15 miles into the headwind, I knew improved during the trip and saw like improvements when he rode with a another patient in 2006. many experts have set up Parkinson's disease can touch the intimate
    family relationship on several different levels.

    Feel free to surf to my webpage Parkinson's disease specialists Old Mill Crk

  25. Anonymous3:29 am

    senior high jeopardy women high Cholesterol, osteopenia and exploitation exhibit spoon
    of Carlson's cod liver oil Day-by-day. You can buy walnuts at fats, trans fats can growth your LDL cholesterol.

    My page; cholesterol dr oz ldl

  26. Anonymous10:24 pm

    Excellent website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of
    any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed
    here? I'd really love to be a part of online community where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

    My blog post: vaga

  27. Anonymous3:39 am

    This is Component of the grounds can do blogging at any meter you wish well.
    Focus of this week testament blogging through and through the dark!
    This article will help you chance the confirming though they
    are not talking about it. blogging money volition begin to some where we are.
    Students that would never handwrite a feature no estimation how.
    The virtually significant thing you own to recall is to ideas and
    take care for shipway you can make your own novel, unequaled subject matter.

    Take a look at my web blog ... click here