Place du Tertre
This is the place du Tertre, the tiny open area at the summit of the butte Montmartre in Paris.
Artists sell paintings and sketches here at all times of year. Although the arrangement looks casual, each artist actually is theoretically allocated a specific spot (although not all take the trouble to go through the proper formalities).
Most of the artists today seem to be Eastern European immigrants (legal and otherwise). They speak with heavy Slavic accents and are occasionally unpleasantly persistent in their attempts to sell their work. Many of these artists will sketch or paint your portrait on the spot, for a fee. Although most of the artists are reasonably good, there are no Picassos or Rembrandts in the bunch, that I have seen.
This picture was taken in spring, early in the morning on a weekday, before the busloads of tourists began to arrive. It’s difficult to get a clear photo of the entire small plaza because there are no easy vantage points. You are looking roughly east in this photo. Along with the artists, you can see the terraces of small cafés and restaurants.
Click directly on the photo to see a larger version (twice this size). Photographed on June 20, 2000.