Network Books


Artist Quarter: Modigliani, Montmartre & Montparnasse, by Charles Douglas

Artist Quarter: Modigliani, Montmartre & Montparnasse, by Charles Douglas


Paperback – 215x 140 mm – 380 pages

Republished for the first time since 1941, Artist Quarter is one of the most vivid accounts of life in Bohemian Paris ever written. Modigliani is its hero, his brief life shooting like a comet through constellations of artistic genius; but the book is always down to earth and often very funny about life amongst such outsize characters in the golden age of Montmartre.

From the original blurb: 

What were Montmartre and Montparnasse really like in their heyday, roughly between 1904, when the youthful Picasso had just arrived on the Hill of Martyrs, and 1920, when Amedeo Modigliani, justly called ‘the prince of Bohemians’, died of consumption and dissipation in Montparnasse? This book, written by an Englishman who lived in Montmartre for 30 years and knew its famous habitués intimately, gives a vivid description. It reveals the truth behind the many legends, is packed with authentic stories about writers and painters whose names are now household words, and contains much hitherto unpublished information about the life and career of Modigliani, obtained from his family and friends. Much of the text was written in Montmartre amid the scenes described, and after personal consultation with survivors of the great days when Frédé presided over the Lapin Agile and Libion, patron of the Café de la Rotonde, was beginning to rival him in Montparnasse. It is the most complete account which has yet been written in English of the birth of Cubism and other contemporary movements in modern painting, and of the lives and loves that started them.

Charles Douglas was the pseudonym of two very different writers.

Douglas Goldring (1887-1960) was at the heart of literary life in London before the First World War, working with Ford Madox Ford, Wyndham Lewis and D. H. Lawrence, amongst many others.

Charles Beadle (1881-1944) was a successful adventure writer, drawing on his own extraordinary experiences. On his return from Africa in 1904 he lived in Paris, in the thick of Bohemia.

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