Series - Coffee and Bistros in Art

What would Paris be without its Café de Flore!!! The famous paper set designed by Sempé and which covers the tables of the terrace. How many are taken away every day... It must be said that it is a nice souvenir of Paris to bring back.
There is a multitude of words and terms for our dear bistros:
Abreuvoir, cafeton, assommoir, gargote, bar, bibine, bistroquet, buvette, cabaret, caboulot, débit, estaminet, marchand de vin, mastroquet, bouchon, rade, restaurant, troquet, zinc, café...
The coffee is also this drink which arrives in Europe around 1600 introduced by the Venetian merchants.

Engraving of the Café des incroyables of 1797.

"Madame du Barry taking her coffee" by Pierre Edouard Dagoty (12 Sep 1775 - 1871). Jeanne Bécu, Countess du Barry, Mistress-in-title of Louis XV.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, "Au Café", vers 1877.

Gustave Caillebotte, "Au café", 1880.

What a beauty! "Le Café", by Édouard Manet, 1880.

Here is a " Femme au bord de la mer " from 1884 by Jean Béraud. He was born in 1849, in St. Petersburg, when his father, a sculptor, was probably working on the construction of St. Isaac's Cathedral. Béraud spent his early childhood in Russia, he was only 4 years old when his widowed mother returned to France. As a young man he entered the Beaux-Arts in Paris and became a painter appreciated by the art-loving bourgeoisie. He was a friend of Auguste Rodin, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Marcel Proust, whose duel with the writer Jean Lorrain he even witnessed.

Vincent Van Gogh's " Café de nuit " painted in 1888 represents the café de la Gare, on the Place Lamartine in Arles. The scene, as the title of the painting indicates, takes place at night, precisely at a quarter past midnight, according to the time displayed on the clock at the back of the room. It is a magnificent "photograph" of a café in Provence in the 19th century, a large room with high ceilings, gas lamps, a billiard table, bottles of beer and a bunch of flowers..

"Café ou portrait de Mme. Ginoux", 1888 by Paul Gauguin.

Fernand Toussaint, "Café Jacqmotte, Bruxelles", circa 1896.

"Au Bar" by Maurice de Vlaminck in 1900, he was 24 years old when he made this painting. It is sure that for the time, it was not that pleasant!

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, "Chocolat dansant dans un bar", 1900.

Gene Kelly dans "Un Américain à Paris", by Vincente Minnelli, 1951.

Jean Emile Laboureur "Bar en Pennsylvanie", 1904.

Raoul Dufy, "Le Café à l'Estaque", 1908.

This little treasure by Édouard Vuillard, "Table servie".

Pierre Bonnard, " Le Café ", 1915. It is in front of a painting like this that I feel what my grandfather, Aimé Maeght, used to explain to me about Bonnard's art. I obviously talk a lot about the artist in my book, but this passage fits so well with this painting. As a reminder, the two men met in Cannes, when Grandpa was a worker in a printing shop.

"The discussions of the two men [Pierre Bonnard and Aimé Maeght] made the colt mature and his understanding of the image, both intuitive and technical until then, was enriched with knowledge and sensitivity. Bonnard explained to him a painting representing a rose in a glass, a pompous subject if ever there was one, which the artist never ceased to be concerned about: the vase was shifted to the left and to the bottom of the canvas, but Bonnard, by means of color tricks, i.e., thanks to values that move the background away from one side and bring it closer to the bottom, wanted to give the impression that the rose was exactly in the middle of the canvas. This problem fascinated him. He said, "Destroying the composition of a painting through values is the problem of painting tomorrow." Grandpa gorges himself with his words. 
Later, Grandpa would confide: "A very curious kind of friendship had formed between Bonnard and me, which went beyond the friendship of two men with such a difference in age. For me, Bonnard is "the" painter. In the long discussions I had with him, he was the one who was at the base of my evolution and of the opening of my mind to living art. Without Bonnard, I might have continued like the other dealers. Bonnard arrived at the moment in my life when I wanted to make this great leap towards modern art and it was he, first of all through his painting and through the many reflections and discussions we had together, who made me understand what modern art could be." Excerpt from The Maeght Saga.

 One hell of a photo that could sum up what the artistic communities of Paris were all about. Moïse Kisling, Pâquerette and Picasso, in Montparnasse at the café La Rotonde, photographed on August 12, 1916, by Jean Cocteau!
Kisling's haircut is really unheard of, as for Paquerette, she wears this funny Chinese hat, Picasso is more sober, cap and pipe in the beak.
Kisling, we don't talk about him enough and yet what a painter!
Pâquerette was an actress whose real name was Marguerite Jeanne Puech, she worked with the greatest, Marcel l'Herbier, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jacques Becker, Yves Allegret and many others...
This photo is really a small piece of art history. It is part of an entire reel, and yet that film was expensive and rare at the time. The same day Cocteau photographed the Montparnasse friends with, among others, Modigliani, Max Jacob, André Salmon, Manuel Ortiz de Zarate, Picasso, Kisling!

Diego Rivera, "La Terrasse de Café", 1915. Between cubism and pointillism. Everything is there : the pedestal table, the absinthe spoon, the siphon...

Drinking a kawa at the counter, with Amedeo Modigliani, who died in 1920, he is in the center, all in black.

A quick lunch with a girlfriend at the "Chop Suey", with Edward Hopper as witness, 1929.

" Au café avec Fernand Fleuret," 1940, by Breton painter Pierre Savigny de Belay.

"Rarely was a provincial of my age (I was fifteen to sixteen) seamlessly transplanted into such a peculiar milieu. I met daily with Picasso, who was in the middle of his blue period. Guillaume Apollinaire, armored with velvet and ringed with evil stones, was laying the foundations of a new religion - assisted by André Salmon, Pierre Mac Orlan and Francis Carco. It was the full bloom of Cubism, but it had no influence on me; a fundamental law guided my research: the study of nature. A long work can only bring any artistic creator to perfect his means of expression".

Portrait of Alexander Calder by Saul Steinberg, 1946.

You have to look at the details, the bistro chair, the mustard pot... And the face, that's really it! Calder was in Paris in 1946, for an exhibition.
Steinberg, too, was a faithful visitor to Paris and the Maeght Gallery. Two Americans in Paris.

Masterpiece of photography, Robert Doisneau, "Café noir et blanc, Joinville-le-Pont", 1948.

Léonard Foujita, "Au café", 1949.

Tsuguharu Foujita means: heir of peace and field of wisteria!
Tokyo and Paris are his two homelands, of birth and of heart: "My body grew up in Japan, but my painting grew up in France", said Foujita. The composition is amazing, with the edge of the table slightly slanted, recalling the codes of Dutch still lifes, the colors also recall them, and this small space under the table, which attracts our eyes, the mystery is there!

This corner of Saint Germain des Près has not changed too much. Marguerite Duras on the terrace of the Petit Saint Benoit, photo by Robert Doisneau, 1952.

At the Wiener café by Moriz Jung.

Alberto and Annette Giacometti, Café Express, Paris. December 1957. Photo by Robert Doisneau.

Ahhhh, a good coffee, unheard of, it hasn't even cooled since 1961, Roy Lichtenstein, "Cup of Coffee". This is an emblematic work of Pop Art, representing everyday objects or overconsumption. The object, nothing but the object.

" Terrasse de café ", Alberto Giacometti, plate of " Paris sans fin ", sublime book composed of original lithographs ", 1965.

Jörg Immendorff, "Cafe Deutschland", 1980.

Between 1977 and 1982, Immendorff created a series of paintings, drawings and prints entitled Cafe Deutschland, in which the opposing ideologies of East and West Germany are represented on a metaphorical stage.
Uninhabited tables occupy the foreground of this monumental canvas, on which candles burn in red, black and yellow - the colors of the German flag. On the surface of a large freestanding bookcase on the left, Berlin's Brandenburg Gate is painted, seen from the west. Small figures desperately climb the library; it is a stand-in for the Berlin Wall, which physically divided the city from 1961 to 1989.

Manolo Valdes, "La Taza", 1994.

For my Cafés and Bistros series, the most beautiful counter is the one at the Café de la Place in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, of course. At the very end of the counter, on the wall, "Fanny" see below.
This jewel hangs on the wall, it is the Fanny of the Café de la Place in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
It is César, the sculptor who realized it, the Dadaists would not have disowned it.
To be "Fanny" in the south of France, it is when in petanque a loser has not scored any point in the game, then, he must kiss Fanny's buttocks.
Then one rushes in front of the small theater, attracted by the ardently agitated bell, the curtain is closed, the loser is placed in front, and under the houuuu, the curtain opens and he must kiss the beautiful pink buttocks. César has even hung a mini stool "for the little ones". Public humiliation that announces a general tour! Traditions are not lost, and that's good.

Coffee with Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles and Marlene Dietrich.

Dear Jacques Brel, timeless.

The morning coffee with Marilyn, it's even better.

Aki Kuroda, a must in Parisian bars, here on rue Daguerre, photo by my sister Flo.

And to finish, another painting by Pierre Bonnard.

Pierre Bonnard, "The red-checked tablecloth or " Le déjeuner au chien ", 1910.

We feel the dog's expectation, we imagine his gaze trying to catch the woman's, and yet Bonnard does not need to paint the detail of the eyes. A certain idea of happiness: to be seated in front of a good cup of coffee with your dog asking for a piece of croissant? Bonnard has kept from his Nabis period this incredible use of decorative motifs or fabrics, he uses them to structure his works. He includes them as collages, plastered on his work, without any will to create a perspective or a reality. A masterpiece of construction. Nothing is symmetrical, nor straight, and yet all is balance.