theballoondiary

Hey mes petits dreamers,

Today I discovered le musée de Montmartre – ok more like I had a sneak peek through the beautiful double doors outside.  But I did hear a great story.

Located in Montmartre’s oldest house, the museum was built in the 17th century and sits atop the Butte Montmartre.  It houses a unique, little collection of artwork on the history of Montmartre.  The house and its environs themselves are very reminiscent of the time when it was once a small village.

Whilst trying to have a peek inside at the grounds, I got to chatting with a group of ladies who were on a tour of the area.  One particularly chirpy lady told me the story of Suzanne Valadon, who I’d never heard of before (shock horror), who painted from her studio inside this old house and lived an extraordinarily colorful life – OK…I’m all ears.  Tell me more!

She told me that Suzanne was known for her female nudes, and her works can be seen in many galleries and museums, including Paris’s Centre Pompidou.  Born in 1865, she grew up in poverty with only her mum (who was a laundress) and never knew her father.  At the age of 15 she became a circus acrobat (excellent career choice, Suzanne!), but unfortunately she had a serious fall from a trapeze, which put an end to this dazzling chapter of her life.  She then started modeling for artists such as Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec.  While modeling, she taught herself how to paint and later became the first woman to enter the prestigious Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.  #girlpower.

At the age of 18, she gave birth to an illegitimate son, Maurice Utrillo, who would also become a painter (in fact, the one responsible for the “little pink house” of yesterday’s discovery).  She then married a banker and led a very “bourgeois” life for several years, but at the age of 44 she started an affair with her son’s 23-year-old friend.  They later married and stayed together for 20 years.

Talk about a colorful life! I love this story – though not necessarily for the whole marrying her son’s 23-year-old friend.  That’s a bit weird.  But weird is wonderful.

Since I was young, I remember thinking ‘I want to live a colorful life.’  I was never fantasizing about a big white wedding or buying a big house and having 2.5 children.  I just wanted to do something different, and before moving to Paris it felt like I hadn’t even started. So Suzanne’s story of rebellion and unconventionality is one that I found inspiring because everyone is looking for a different adventure.  I’m just happy today to know that I have finally started my own.

Still getting lost in the right direction.

Bisous!

Anna

annadawson - the balloon diary

Walking on a dream.

montmartre - theballoondiary

Complimentary on the colour wheel pink & green. I know why.

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Dream up!

pink balloon

 Always the centre of attention.

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Beep Beep!

anna dawson the balloon diary

You can’t see what I’m looking at. But trust me. It’s AMAZING.

balloon

Perv.

theballoon diary anna

Peek-a-boo.

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Excusez moi. But can you please get out of my photo 😉

balloon pink

Keep on keeping on.

the balloon diaries - musée de montmartre

Mmmm sun.

petit trian de montmartre

Wait for me!