Today Montparnasse is embodied by its tower, the central station and its many theaters. However, the district was from 1900, and especially during the interwar years, the heart of the artistic and intellectual Parisian life, after the heyday of Montmartre and just before the Saint-Germain-des-Prés’ one. A lot of painters from the Surrealist Period, like Marc Chagall, used to live in this district full of surprises!
Montparnasse had its heyday in the 1920s (the French "Années Folles") when many painters came and lived within the district: Dali, Modigliani, Picasso, Zadkine, Fitzgerald and Man Ray, among others, were notably part of a dynamic community. They were lured by low rent for lodging and workshops.
We are pleased to share with you French history - Focus on : La Ruche. Located in Passage Dantzig, in Paris’ 15th district, La Ruche (“The Beehive”) is an artists community similar to Bateau-Lavoir, in Montmartre area. La Ruche is one of the most prominent artistic centers of the 20th century. It was created in 1902 to give penniless painters a chance to achieve success. It housed many great artists such as Modigliani, Soutine, Brancusi, Léger and Chagall. It is even said that Soutine arrived in Paris with only a sheet of paper on which “La Ruche, Paris” where scribbled! Originally the place accomodated 140 workshops. Today it is hosting about sixty. Unfortunately, La Ruche is no longer open to public : only residents and happy-few are allowed to enter.
Montparnasse is definitively a neighbourhood that cannot be missed!