Juliette Greco’s Room
When in Paris, where did Juliette Greco stay? Only one place. Hotel La Louisiane which is also well-known as the subject of a cult film, Hotel La Louisiane.
Greco was not the only fan. Room 10, also known as the round room, has been inhabited by not only Simone de Beauvoir but also Jean-Paul Sartre and Juliette Greco.
The Hotel La Louisiane was also the Parisian home of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller and Louis Malle. Beatnik, Bohemian paradise.
Hotel La Louisiane, Paris
This song, Chambre 10 (Room 10) is an homage to the lovely old ‘round room’ by Chantal De Villiers. It is from the album, Hotel La Louisiane.
This famous old room in La Hotel Louisiane looks much as it did when it was photographed by Agnes Poirier. Classic thrown-open windows, floral fabric curtains and patterned railings. A simple mirror and a view of Parisian café life outside.
From the film by Michel La Veaux, it is a reminder of the days when the hotel advertised both ‘hot and cold water’ along with electricity and bathrooms. Shuttered windows and peeling paint (Paris staples) included.
Juliette Greco in Room 10
A rare interview with Juliette Greco in her old hotel room, surrounded by fresh pale pink roses and hot pink tulips, in Beatnik black, is a reminder of the days when she would spin vinyl from a record-player next to the mattress. With the local café just a few steps away, this is a place for wine, coffee and nostalgia. Greco’s friendship with Miles Davis is part of this Paris hotel too. Time stands still.
Simone de Beauvoir’s Writing Desk
With her bicycle leaning next to a table piled with books, a single alarm clock and lamp on her desk – and her handbag thrown on top – this is where Simone de Beauvoir walked the corridors in between note-taking for her next book.
On Rue de Seine, Lost in Jazz
The Hotel La Louisiane is on Rue de Seine and in its heyday in the 1950’s and 1960’s was where jazz musicians including not only Miles Davis, but also Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker stayed here.
Lucian Freud at The Hotel La Louisiane
In 1954, a double of portrait of Lucian Freud with his second wife Caroline Blackwood, aged 22 or 23 at the time – was painted in the hotel, set against one of the windows. Hotel Bedroom 1954 by Lucian Freud is at The Tate. Freud said this was “the last painting where I was sitting down; when I stood up I never sat down again.” Caroline Blackwood and Lucian Freud dissolved the marriage three years later in 1957.
The Old Left Bank
Journalist and photographer Agnes Poirier is a good guide to the old Left Bank, home to musicians, writers and thinkers during and after the Second World War. If you are interested in staying at the hotel, or just having a coffee nearby, this is an interesting Lithub interview by Marta Bausells in conversation with Agnes Poirier.
“We’re having espressos in front of the family-run Hotel La Louisiane, where de Beauvoir lived between 1943 and 1948 (so did Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Juliette Gréco and many other artists, at one point or another).
In the top-floor room, she also had the epiphany that would lead to the crucial feminist work The Second Sex (“It was a revelation. This world was a masculine world, my childhood was nourished by myths concocted by men, and I hadn’t reacted to them in the same way I would have done if I had been a boy.”)
“Left Bank: Art, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-1950 charts the ups and downs of several generations of revered artists from around the world, whose lives intersected in Paris in that momentous decade of war, emancipation and reckoning.”