"The Rotonde was full of men reading newspapers on long sticks. Shabby men, not sneering, not taking any notice"
La Rotonde today
Creative Commons AttributionLa Rotonde today - Credit: Yves Lorson

In a flashback to her early days in Paris in the 1920s, the young Sasha goes to the famous Montparnasse artist’s haunt, Café de la Rotonde. Opened by one Victor Libion in 1910, it was, like Le Dôme, a sanctuary for poor artists and other Bohemian down-and-outs. Libion also accepted paintings as payment for cups of coffee or glasses of absinthe stretched out to several hours.


Sasha herself refers to the ‘pictures on the walls’ and wonders, ‘How long will they let me sit here? Not a drop of coffee left. The last drop was very cold and very bitter. If I go to sleep they’ll certainly turn me out. Perhaps they won’t, but better not risk it.’ The café is still in business.

Modigliani, Picasso and André Salmon outside de la Rotonde, 1916
Public DomainModigliani, Picasso and André Salmon outside de la Rotonde, 1916