Whilst visiting the other attractions of Montmartre, pause here to do as the artists did and try a galette with a glass of red wine.
Le Moulin de la Galette is an area near the top of Montmartre, and at its centre is the windmill which used to grind the flour which gave the area its name: a galette is a rustic, savoury cake which accompanies a glass of red wine extremely well.
Indeed, the painters Renoir, van Gogh and Pissarro would agree. In the late 19th century, these celebrated artists, living in Paris at the time, would seek diversion atop Montmartre.
In the Musée d'Orsay, you can find one of Renoir’s most well known paintings, the Bal du moulin de la Galette. It captures a scene from a ball held in the area in 1876 and the lifestyle of the time - a Parisian existence becoming bohemian and relaxed; a time when male and female attitudes towards one another were becoming less formal. It also represents an iconic point in Impressionism which split the critics, some claiming it was ‘a page of history, a precious and strictly accurate portrayal of Parisian life.’ Others were not so kind, describing the painting succinctly as ‘blurry.’
Just two of the 14 windmills from that time survive; only the less famous Le Radet can be visited - the other remains on private land. There is however, a famous restaurant with the same name from which you can see the Blute-fin windmill, towering above the terrace, which itself provides a cool retreat on a hot day around Montmartre.
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