Lapin Agile

Coordinates: 48°53′19″N 2°20′24″E / 48.8886°N 2.33998°E / 48.8886; 2.33998
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Le Lapin Agile, painting by Raphaël Toussaint
Au Lapin Agile, ca 1880–1890
Au Lapin Agile (June 2011)
Reproduction of the "Lapin à Gill" sign

48°53′19″N 2°20′24″E / 48.8886°N 2.33998°E / 48.8886; 2.33998Lapin Agile [la.pɛ̃ a.ʒil] is a famous Montmartre cabaret, at 22 Rue des Saules, 18th arrondissement of Paris, France.


The venue existed circa 1860 under the name Au rendez-vous des voleurs, meaning "Where the Thieves Meet".[1] Some twenty years later, the walls were decorated with portraits of famous murderers and the place became known as the Cabaret des Assassins.[2] Tradition relates that the cabaret received this name because a band of gangsters broke in and killed the owner's son in a robbery attempt.[3] In 1875, the artist Andre Gill painted the sign that was to suggest its permanent name. It was a picture of a rabbit jumping out of a saucepan, and residents began calling their neighbourhood night-club Le Lapin à Gill, meaning "Gill's rabbit". Over time, the name had evolved into "Cabaret Au Lapin Agile", or the Nimble Rabbit Cabaret. The original painting on canvas was stolen in 1893;[4] a reproduction on timber was painted to take its place.

The Lapin Agile was bought in the early twentieth century by the cabaret singer, comedian, and nightclub owner Aristide Bruant to save it from demolition.[5] The Lapin Agile became a favourite spot for struggling artists and writers, including Picasso, Modigliani, Apollinaire, Roman Greco, and Maurice Utrillo.

The Lapin Agile is located in the centre of the Montmartre district in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, behind and slightly northwest of Sacre Coeur Basilica. Since this was the heart of artistic Paris at the turn of the twentieth century, there was much discussion at the cabaret about "the meaning of art".

The Lapin Agile was also popular with Montmartre residents including pimps, eccentrics, poorer people, local anarchists, as well as with students from the Latin Quarter and a sprinkling of upper-class bourgeoisie.

Existing venue[edit]

The Lapin Agile is largely unchanged and maintains its tradition as an informal cabaret venue. It is located in a stone building on the steep and cobbled Rue des Saules and showcases poets and singers who perform French songs dating back as far as the fifteenth century.[6]


Pablo Picasso's 1905 oil painting, Au Lapin Agile ("At the Lapin Agile") helped to make this cabaret world-famous.[7] The cabaret has been captured on canvas by other Montmartre artists, such as Roman Greco and Maurice Utrillo.[8]

Stage adaptations[edit]

In 1993 American comedian and entertainer, Steve Martin, wrote a play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which had a successful run in Chicago, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. The play depicted an imagined meeting in 1904 between Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein at the Lapin Agile.[9]


  1. ^ "Le cabaret des assassins". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Le Lapin Agile … l'ancien Cabaret des Assassins". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  3. ^ Sante, Luc (2015). The Other Paris. Faber & Faber. ISBN 9780571325870. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Au Lapin Agile" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Butte montmartre : Au Lapin Agile". Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Lapin Agile Cabaret In Paris France". Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  7. ^ "At the Lapin Agile". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Barnes Collection Online — Maurice Utrillo: Lapin Agile, Montmartre". Barnes Collection Online — Maurice Utrillo: Lapin Agile, Montmartre. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  9. ^ Virtusio, Jessi (6 February 2020). "Beverly Theatre Guild gears up for Steve Martin comedy 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 January 2021.

External links[edit]