My Paris is from my photo collection…candid photos from the days before digital…we took this just outside, as we soaked up the atmosphere, and dreamed of seeing Picasso walk in*….
Lapin Agile is a famous Montmartre cabaret, at 22 Rue des Saules, Paris, France.
It was originally called “Cabaret des Assassins”. Tradition relates that the cabaret received this name because a band of assassins broke in and killed the owner’s son. The cabaret was more than twenty years old when, in 1875, the artist Andre Gill painted the sign that was to suggest its permanent name. It was a picture of a rabbit jumping out of a saucepan, and residents began calling their neighborhood night-club “Le Lapin à Gill”, “Gill’s rabbit”.
Over time the name evolved into “Cabaret Au Lapin Agile”, or, the Nimble Rabbit Cabaret. At the turn of the twentieth century, the Lapin Agile was a favorite spot for struggling artists and writers, including Picasso, Modigliani, Apollinaire, and Utrillo.
In the celebrated work, now an icon of life in bohemian Paris at the turn of the century, Picasso depicts himself dressed as a Harlequin, accompanied by Germaine Pichot. Frédé, the owner of the cabaret Le Lapin Agile, strums his guitar in the background. Picasso’s great friend Casagemas committed suicide in 1901 because his love for Pichot had not been returned. This picture was painted four years later.
Photo of the Lapin Agile in 1872