Top 10 Reasons to Visit Renoir’s Garden
Auguste Renoir was a French painter who was born in Limoges, France in 1841. He lived most of his life moving back and forth between Paris and other towns in France from which he felt he could draw most inspiration for this impressionist works.
In 1871, Renoir made his way to Paris yet again looking to settle for good. During this time Montmartre was a thriving artists village on the top of the hill in the 18th arrondissement. Many of the artists who Renoir looked up to had made successful careers in this part of town and he sought to do the same.
Today the Museum of Montmartre marks a heritage site dedicated to art, back then, however, it was a studio and residential space that contemporary artists of the time could rent apartments in; Renoir was one of them.
Renoir lived inside the Montmartre Museum in Paris for almost three years, sharing the space with a number of other artists. As an ode to his memory, the gardens that surround the museum are today named the Jardins Renoir.
Here is why you need to pay them a visit when you get to town.
Garden ENTRY FEE: FREE With Museum Ticket
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 10am to 7pm
ADDRESS: 12 Rue Cortot, 75018 Paris, France
METRO STATION: ABBESSES / LAMARCK CAULAINCOURT
1. You’ll Be in the Heart of Montmartre
You’re going to have to explore it, one way or another. Montmartre is rich in art history and remains one of the most charming neighborhoods in Paris.
You can take a free guided walking tour through the village streets and request your guide walk you past these gardens en route; or you can visit on your own accord.
2. You Can Explore the Montmartre Museum Simultaneously
As mentioned, the Renoir Gardens surround the existing Montmartre Museum, the vicinity in which the artists once lived many years ago.
Museum Admission: €9.50
3. Take a Photo Like the Girl on the Swing
It was in these very gardens where Renoir painted the now famous piece “La Balancoire” or The Swing.
The painting features a young girl who is standing on a light wooden swing suspended from a branch in the garden.
The Jardins Renoir have installed an exact replica of the depicted swing so that visitors can recreate their own photograph of themselves standing here during their visits.
4. Consider Renoir’s Works That Were Inspired Here
Several of Renoir’s masterpieces were birthed in these Montmartre gardens. The one most people are familiar with is le Bal du Moulin de la Galette.
It depicts a typical Sunday afternoon in Paris at the time, with couples and families enjoying a dance on the original windmill grounds. You can still visit the actual paining at the Musée d’Orsay on Paris’ Left Bank in the city center.
5. See a Representation of His Studio
To give visitors a better idea of what life for the artist would have been like back in the day, the Montmartre Museum has recreated Renoir’s studio space in the old room he made use of.
While nothing in the studio was actually owned by the artist himself, it is said to be an accurate representation of the exact space he worked in everyday during his time living in this building.
When he wasn’t in the garden he was in his studio, as the story goes.
6. Get a View of the Montmartre Vineyard
The Montmartre Vineyard is a private piece of land in the village of Montmartre. The crops are harvested just once a year and no one is allowed inside.
Thanks to the sloping nature of the Montmartre hill, the Renoir Gardens give one access to a birds eye view over the Montmartre Vineyard. It’s the closest and clearest way to oversee these grounds & the many variants of grapes that this fertile land is able to produce.
7. Take Part in a Wine Tasting in Renoir’s Garden
As part of an inclusive package, visitors to the Montmartre Museum are invited to take part in wine tasting in the Renoir Gardens following their experience in the museum.
Its a great way to wind down after having your mind race through all the artworks. The wine tasting is offered on the lawns and will include detail explanations of each grape & the differences in growth around France.
8. View the Northern Cityscape of Paris
Again thanks to the sloping nature of Montmartre hill, the Renoir Gardens are also able to offer beautiful panoramic views over the rest of the northern Paris cityscape.
Behind you, you’ll observe the Sacre Coeur Basilica peeping out from behind the trees. This attraction is a short walk from the museum and will give a more expansive view over the city as well.
9. Drink Tea in the Cafe Renoir
As part of the Renoir Gardens, the Cafe Renoir opened its doors not long ago and is the only place to eat and drink within the museum grounds.
The cafe offers delicious teas and coffees & a variety of fresh baked pastries. There is also a menu of light meals including a wonderful French onion soup during the winter.
There is outdoor seating in the gardens or warm, indoor facilities where you can escape the city completely.
10. Children are Welcome at the Renoir Gardens
They are indeed! Since the Montmartre Museum’s collections include a large amount of animated works, children find walking through the museum quite fascinating.
Afterward they are delighted to enjoy the gardens and sunshine for a few hours while their parents can enjoy refreshments in the Cafe Renoir.
The entire property is enclosed so there is no risk of your little ones getting lost or tumbling down Montmartre hill by accident. The gardens are museum are free for all children under 10 years old.