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Lovers of Father Lathuile...

Father Lathuile's house was more than a cabaret, more than a restaurant. It was a place of pilgrimage on the barrier of Clichy. In March 1814, Marshal Moncey tried to defend Paris against the Cossacks with disparate elements of the National Guard: invalid soldiers, veterinary students, bourgeois without experience. He set up his command post at Jean-Marie Lathuile's and succeeded in repelling the Russians until a ceasefire. The of the cabaret distributed his wine to the soldiers, saying: "Drink, my friends, drink gratis! Do not leave the Cossacks a single bottle of my wine!".

Édouard Manet, who went there a few times, immortalized the establishment with a painting painted in 1879, three years before his death.

Edouard Manet. Chez le Père Lathuille. 1879. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tournai. Belgique.
Edouard Manet. Chez le Père Lathuille. 1879. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tournai. Belgique.

In this painting, an enterprising little guy is clearly trying to seduce a woman, the least we can say is that she is reserved, with both her forearms resting on the table. He holds a glass in his hand, moreover, he seems to be the only one drinking, and looks as questioning as he is mischievous, laying siege to his neighbor by placing his left hand familiarly on the back of the chair. In the background, a waiter, holding a chocolate pot and a tray under his arm, watches the scene with a reproachful air.

Édouard Manet posed for the occasion the son of Father Lathuile and the actress Hélène André, the latter replaced after two sessions by Judith French, a close friend of Jacques Offenbach.

Auguste Renoir. Dans le jardin. 1885. Musée de l'Hermitage. Saint-Petersbourg
Auguste Renoir. Dans le jardin. 1885. Musée de l'Hermitage. Saint-Petersbourg

One cannot help but make the connection with Auguste Renoir's painting in 1885 "In the garden" in which he stages himself, hugging Aline Charigot who gave birth the same year to Pierre Renoir, their eldest son.

Horace Vernet . La Barrière de Clichy. 1820. Musée du Louvre
Horace Vernet . La Barrière de Clichy. 1820. Musée du Louvre

Horace Vernet painted the episode of the heroic defense of the Clichy barrier by Marshal Moncey's troops. You can see Father Lathuile's restaurant in the background on the right. This same Moncey, who will attend at the age of 86 the return of the Emperor's ashes to Paris. He had begged his doctor to keep him alive until the day of the ceremony and he said, after sprinkling Napoleon's coffin with holy water: "That's good. Let's go home to die"...


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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