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At the foot of the Mouffe

Rue Mouffetard begins at the end of Avenue des Gobelins, at the foot of the Saint-Médard church. I spent my childhood days there, surrounded by four-season vendors like La Nini, butchers' stalls, Italian caterers, small smoky bistros that accompany you to the Place de la Contrescarpe. This picturesque street, which everyone here calls La Mouffe, has inspired writers and painters, like Maximilien Luce.

Maximilien Luce. La rue Mouffetard. Indianapolis Museum of Art
Maximilien Luce. La rue Mouffetard. Indianapolis Museum of Art

This painting, typical of the divisionist approach of Maximilien Luce (1858-1941), shows the beginning of rue Mouffetard and its market teeming with people, hawkers, stalls, greengrocers. On the right, the forecourt of the Saint-Médard church, which the painter did not represent in this framing which favors access to the street and the advertising placards on the facades. The Pantheon, which is at the top of the street, beyond the Place de la Contrescarpe, is mentioned in an advertisement for a clothing store named after the building built by Jacques-Germain Soufflot and completed in 1780.

Fernand Maillaud. La rue Mouffetard. vers 1905. Musée Carnavalet Paris
Fernand Maillaud. La rue Mouffetard. vers 1905. Musée Carnavalet Paris

Fernand Maillaud (1862-1947) lived on rue de l'Estrapade, in the same district. Gold medalist at the Salon des Artistes Français, he painted rue Mouffetard in the other direction, from the top towards the Saint-Médard church in a heavier atmosphere than that of Maximilien Luce, with colors predominantly ocher and dark green. .


La rue Mouffetard et l'église Saint Médard. 2022. ©Fabrice Roy
La rue Mouffetard et l'église Saint Médard. 2022. ©Fabrice Roy

Passing through Paris, I captured La Mouffe on this early December morning. I have included on the right the framing of the facade of the Saint Médard church, inseparable from the district.


In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...



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