Secret Paris

April 12, 2011By Louis FraysseSecret Paris

Villa Santos Dumont

villa-santos-dumont, PARIS
Paris’s Villa Santos Dumont, once home to Fernand Léger. Photo: Louis Fraysse

Villa Santos Dumont, one of the most picturesque streets in Paris, is a quiet, cobblestoned dead end full of flowers and trees located in the eastern part of the 15th arrondissement. The street dates back to the early 1920s, when sculptor Raphaël Paynot built the lovely houses and studios that still stand today. Villa Santos-Dumont soon became a haven for artists. Painter Fernand Léger and sculptors Ossip Zadkine and Malvina Hoffman, among many others, once lived and worked there. Songwriter Georges Brassens, currently the subject of an exhibition at Paris’s Cité de la Musique, lived at no. 42 in the nearby Rue Santos-Dumont, noteworthy for its row of houses. Nowadays, the street retains its artist-friendly nature and is still mainly populated by craftspeople who work and live there: “Un petit coin de Paradis,” as Brassens sang.

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