So, I recently started reading a book I picked up from the library the other day. I’m currently on page 97, but I read something in the previous chapter that stuck with me.
In the aforementioned chapter, the author mentions that one of her favorite paintings of a bridge over the Seine was Albert Marquet’s Le Pont-Neuf, la nuit.
The author went on to describe how the author painted this scene many times in various ways since this was the view from his Paris balcony. She then hunted down the current residents and asked them if she could visit and take in the view. The current owners invited her into their “living room decorated in designer modern furniture and contemporary paintings,” and then showed her the “balcony Marquet loved.” To my mind, she described a very wealthy dwelling, and it got me wondering how well off this Albert Marquet was.
I’ve since read that Marquet “born very poor” and “lived simply and quietly.” This doesn’t describe a man that could afford a view of the Seine today. Just to be sure, I hoped over to Apartments for Sale in Paris website and honestly couldn’t find anything for sale overlooking the Seine. I then did a generic key word search and found something for sale for millions of dollars. Okay, how about for rent then? I did a map search and found nothing available with a view of the Seine. So, long story short, an artist today could never afford to continuously paint this same view.
So, I started wondering how many artists could afford to live in Paris today? The answer is, of course, obvious. Paris is an expensive city to live in, but so is everywhere else nowadays. Real estate prices are killing the artist. There world can no longer produce any more Marquet’s because no one can afford to become one. What Marquet painted is now a privileged view that gets sold only to the of highest bidders.