Le Lapin Agile is one of the oldest cabarets in Paris. It was frequented by Picasso, Maupassant Apollinaire and many others…
A rabbit dressed in a frock coat
A few years later, in 1880, the owner of this cabaret, already frequented by many artists, entrusted the caricaturist André Gill, familiar with the place, with the creation of a sign. The latter chose to paint a rabbit dressed in a frock coat escaping from the pot that was intended for him: the cabaret then became known as Lapin à Gill… soon transformed into Lapin Agile ! The singer Aristide Bruant, who lives nearby, bought the establishment in 1913, to prevent it from being given over to real estate speculation. Berthe Sébource and her daughter Marguerite liven up the place, soon joined by Frédéric Gérard, “Father Frédé”. It becomes the living soul of the place. He sings, but above all, under his leadership, the cabaret becomes a real cultural institution.
A unique atmosphere in Paris
All the big names in the arts have come there and many have remained regulars. Writers like Mac Orlan, Dorgelès, Apollinaire, Cendrars, Max Jacob… Painters like Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec. After the war, Léo Ferré or Caussimon played there. Au Lapin Agile has a unique atmosphere in Paris. The walls are still weathered and blackened by the smoke from a stove where people used to come for a little warmth, in an atmosphere worthy of the Bohemia sung by Aznavour, between bursts of laughter, songs and heated discussions. It is here, in particular, that the hoax of the Sunset over the Adriatic was elaborated: a painting exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, praised by the spectators and produced by Lolo, the donkey of the cabaret! This painting was bought at a high price by a very annoyed collector when he learned the truth about the painting. This story, more than 100 years later, continues to make the throats of many people quick to criticize certain excesses of the most modern and abstract artistic currents. Le Lapin Agile is now one of the most prestigious names in our artistic heritage. In the field of painting, literature, singing, poetry, music, popular songs, it conveys the image of a French and Parisian tradition, appreciated by audiences around the world.