Friday, February 1, 2013

La Belle Époque - Beautiful Era

A time of learning, invention, design and innovation. La Belle Époque or simply Belle Époque, refers to the years between 1871 - 1914. 

In the UK, it paralleled the Victorian and the Edwardian eras. In the USA, this period was called the Gilded Age. Kaiser Wilhelm and Alexander III still ruled their respective countries. France was at the forefront of modern knowledge and new methods. 

Au Lapin Agile Cabaret, Montmartre, Paris, by DG Hudson

Au Lapin Agile Cabaret

During the Belle Époque Picasso and other artists frequented the Au Lapin Agile Cabaret (the nimble rabbit cabaret), a Montmartre spot where art was discussed and sometimes accepted as payment for an artist's bill. Picasso made the cabaret famous in his 1905 painting, At the Lapin Agile.

Prominent artists in Paris during the Belle Époque included post-Impressionists Paul Gaugin, Henri Matisse, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and a young Pablo Picasso.  There were many more.


 Maxim's in Paris, part of the Belle Epoch, by DG Hudson

Maxim's was founded as a bistro in 1893 and later became a Paris hotspot. One of its chefs included the young Wolfgang Puck. Maxim's, embellished with Art Nouveau designs, was a well-known gathering spot during the Belle Époque, the restaurant where everyone in Paris went to be seen. 
In Montmartre, the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge, Montmartre, Paris by DG Hudson

The Can-can dance was a popular 19th-century cabaret style that appears in Toulouse-Lautrec's posters from the era. This nostalgic period is featured in Midnight in Paris along with the Lost Generation. In Belle Époque Paris as now, the Moulin Rouge is a landmark famous for its burlesque performances 


Did you see Midnight in Paris? Do you consider this time period a romantic period or a scientific era? Would you want to live then? 

Please share in the comments and thanks for stopping by!



Youtube - Belle Epoque   Montmartre post for 2012 A to Z Challenge Belle Epoque - Au Lapin Agile Cabaret (artists' hangout)