Cubist hotel in Paris ?

Old Aug 31st, 2004, 02:58 AM
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Cubist hotel in Paris ?

I'm reading a fairly recent novel ('The Sacred Art of Stealing' by Christopher Brookmyre) in which characters stay in a cubist hotel in Paris. Does anyone know if this actually exists ? Thaks.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 10:48 AM
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No mention of the Hotel's name in teh book, eh? Mmmmm.... couldn't be that he refers to say, the Hotel Sale, which is a mansion that subsequently became the Picasso Museum... is that a chance?
(In franch the word for a mansion is a L'Hotel...I think)
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 11:58 AM
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A mansion is called a hôtel particulier.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 12:24 PM
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Yes Hotel Particulier perhaps, what I was referring to is, "The Hotel Salé, currently the Musée National Picasso, owes its name to the profession of its first owner..." So the names of some of these mansions simply was "Hotel whatever..."
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 03:11 AM
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Thanks, but no, it was meant to be an actual hotel : I think the description is "the world's first cubist hotel", but no name is given. It seems to be meant to be in Montmartre; at least, the characters leave the hotel and walk through Montmatre en route to the Louvre. There are references to a cube shaped reception desk etc I suppose he must have made it up.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 06:06 AM
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>..."the world's first cubist hotel", ...There are references to a cube shaped reception desk ...<

"Cubist" does not mean "made up of cubes". It is an art movement.

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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 10:30 AM
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Hmmm.. . I would expect a cubist hotel to be in Montparnasse.

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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 12:00 PM
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Urban architeciture is one of my amateur interests, and I've got quite a few books Parisian history of architecture, as well as having done some specialized study and walks, etc -- in any case, I have never read about or seen a Cubist hotel in Paris. IN fact, I don't know of any true Cubist architecture in Paris, that wasn't a popular movement there (Prague is the only city I know with much of a Cubist presence in architecture). Some people don't really agree that there is such a thing, exactly, but that Cubism is really for two-dimensional works and paintings. Of course Picasso and Braque were famous Cubist painters, and were in Paris. I've seen Braque's house and that artist quarter near it in Montsouris area. No buildings around there are Cubist I can think of, but after all, they were living there, not building them.

In any case, the closest I would come to something called Cubist architecture in Paris is probably really Art Deco -- Mallet Stevens, for example, who is a wellknown Parisian architect and did study Cubism and tried to incorporate cubist principles in his architecture, at least in some earlier works. Most of these buildings are in the 16th, in Auteuil, and they are public buildings and residences (a whole street, rue Mallet Stevens, is one example). I have seen one of his buildings over that way that could be called Cubist with a decorative jagged facade of triangular shapes, but it's not much.

I think Parisian architecture kind of went from Art Nouveau into Art Deco (but Paris is not a great city for Art Deco, there isn't that much -- Miami, CHicago and NY are better for that) and then modern, but Cubist architecture was not part of that (and I'm not sure there is much of that anywhere except Prague)--that would be very early 20th century, if it existed. MOst of Mallet Stevens buildings I know were done in the 20s and 30s.

I'm sure there are hotels in Paris with Cubist paintings in their common areas, but what you describe is fictional, I imagine. It wouldn't be in Montmartre, probably, if there were such a thing, but in the 16th (or perhaps Montparnasse, true).

Ave Junot has some of the most interesting architectural specimens up in Montmartre, but none I'd call Cubist. There aren't any hotels on that street, anyway.

It sounds fictional, but if there is a hotel like that, they've probalby just decorated it that way themself and are maybe trying for a Picasso/Braque theme, and maybe they had the reception desk designed for them, but I would bet it is not a hotel actually designed and built during what is called the Cubist architectural movement or by practitioners of that movement. I think if it were the world's first Cubist hotel, it would be wellknown and it's not -- I'm afraid I don't believe that. I don't even know a Cubist hotel in Prague.

I know Picasso lived in Montmartre at times, although I know he also hung out in Montparnasse (where Braque lived, although I think he had studios in both places) and moved to Montparnasse later.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 01:14 PM
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Did a little search on Christopher Brookmyre and learned that he's considered a satirist (one site compared him to Carl Hiassen). So I suspect the Cubist hotel is an invention.

Sounds like an interesting book (and author) though. I'll have to check it out.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 04:46 AM
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Thank you, ira, I do know what cubism is. I think the 'cube-shaped' thingies were meant to be a joke.

Christina, thank you for your very interesting reply.

Elle, I think Christopher Brookmyre is great, on the whole, although some of his later novels seem to be written to be made for a boy's action movie and the action sequences go on a bit too long for me. He is very funny. If you read any, read them in chronological order (of publication) as some characters pop up in more than one.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:58 AM
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Ah, good to know. Thanks.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 02:16 AM
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Hot news !

"Dear Caroline,
Thanks for your email, which has just been forwarded by my publishers.
The good news is there is such a hotel, though I did exaggerate aspects of it for dramatic (or more accurately, comic) effect.
It's called the Pavillon de Paris, in Montmartre.
Chris Brookmyre"
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 03:22 AM
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Fun Caroline.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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well, that is fun that he answered you. It explains a lot, also, as that is NOT Cubist architecture. The exterior appears to be an Art Nouveau-ish building (although not excessively so, but I'd guess around that period), and the interior is a recent renovation that is Asian/minimalist. This is a current trend in Paris hotels and restaurants.

It's not in Montmartre, either. That area is in-between Gare St lazare and pl de Clichy and is called the "Europe" quartier because of the streets named for European major cities (Madrid, Milan, Bucarest -- that hotel is off rue d'Amsterdam). It was a popular area with artists and musicians (Berlioz lived around there, Baudelaire, etc, and Monet painted in that quartier).
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 01:13 PM
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Why would anyone want to stay in a cubist hotel? Sounds triple square to me!

Sorry, just couldn't resist.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 01:27 PM
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Christina, Zola used to live in that area too, opposite my old flat on rue de Bruxelles, in fact.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 03:36 PM
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Really? I love Zola, I guess I was in front of your apt during my trip this summer as I was looking at the building where Zola died which I think was on that street. There was some famous woman who lived around there also, wasn't there? Bruxelles really is more towards Montmartre, but that hotel is down just off rue d'Amsterdam, as I'm sure you know.
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