One of the fascinations of wandering Paris back streets is the layers of history visible in the buildings. Most of the buildings in Rue Férou date from the eighteenth century but there are remnants of older buildings and plenty of additions from later centuries.
2 bis rue Férou was the offices of the revolutionary journal ‘L’Atelier’ during the Paris Commune of 1871. Later, in the 1950s, it was the home of artist and surrealist photographer Man Ray. The wide, metal framed window looks as if it belongs to an artist’s studio of that era.
Various writers have lived in the street over the centuries, including François-René de Chateaubriand and Ernest Hemingway, but the street gives no clue of their past residence. The writer who is commemorated here didn’t live in the street but declaimed one of his epic poems for the first time in nearby Place Saint-Sulpice.
The hundred verses of Arthur Rimbaud’s poem Le Bateau Ivre were painted in 2012 by calligrapher Jan Willems Bruin on a wall that once belonged to a Catholic seminary. Today the building behind the wall is the local tax office. Another layer in the collage of history that overlays the old streets of the city.
A response to the Weekly Photo Challenge Collage.