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Académie de la "Grande Chaumière"


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Paris, 1902

Published by May Hong Nguyen — 4 years ago

One evening, I bumped into a time machine and found myself sketching in a studio of the Montpartnass, it was the nineteen fifteen, or twenty or so...

I was surrounded by painters, beautiful artistic men with mustaches and pretty women wearing red lipstick and hairbands. I told a painter that I would be in Paris for a while. He was standing next to a canvas full of oil colors, holding his brush in one hand, the other hand with a glass of white wine, said: “Oh, then you are now in the right place, the most beautiful place of Paris”.

Paris, 1902

I was sitting on a chair which Picasso might have sit on yesterday, behind an attractive French artist who might have been the lover of Modigliani. Then I sketched, for the first time in my life, the model who might have been drunk with any painter of the Impressionism.

Excitement followed my steps when we walked along the short Rue de la Grand Chaumiere. I excused myself not to dine with them in a restaurant and said, ‘à la prochaine fois’.

It wasn’t a dream or is it?

Paris, 1902

Paris, 1902

My Erasmus experience has taken me back to Paris in the 1900s, when the artists would gather for arts talk. I would recommend Académie de la Grande Chaumière to those who love art, who they will spend their hours sketching, in a historic place. It is a hidden secret art studio, but it doesn't mean it is not for sharing.

Paris, 1902

The Académie de la Grande Chaumière was established by two French artists (Martha Stettler and Alice Dannenberg — Russian origin) on the small street of Grande Chaumière, Paris. They were against strict rules for arts and painting and this school, therefore this accademy has a free and authentic soul of its own.

Paris, 1902

The artistic look has been there for more than a hundred years, which you can feel in the light, the dust on each chair, the ceiling and the models on stage. Once stepped inside the closed door of the academy, you could right away be hit by a strong yet beautiful smell of oil, which I imagine has been in the air for all those years.

My uncle said there might still be ghosts, the painting ghosts.

(Photos taken at Atelier, Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris)

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