They're sitting in Le Select in Montparnasse, a bar I've always liked for it's old-school brown stuffiness - decor seemingly unchanged since James Baldwin's era. Le Select regular, Maitresse, wrote a hilarious piece about literary tourism in the toilettes.
While I was working on the pic, I discovered Djuna Barnes was not only a writer but a fantastic illustrator which got me thinking: if I had a header like Maitresse's, which Parisian artists would be there with me and, more importantly, where would we be drinking?
Am I allowed tourists and short-term residents? Francophobe, Hogarth, visited Paris, as did Francophile Aubrey Beardsley on his last, tuburcular journey to the South of France. Francophile, Posy Simmonds whose wonderfully funny reworking of Flaubert, Gemma Bovery, clearly knows Paris and Parisians (see Gemma's French lover's super-Parisienne girlfriend and her dreadful mother).
Sadly I couldn't invite Herge, despite his influence on French culture and last year's exibition at the Pompidou, as he lived in Belgium all his life. Instead, I'll have Henri Cartier-Bresson with his almost inhuman ability to capture other people's intensely emotional public moments.
Where to drink? HCB and Djuna would prefer Montparnasse, Sempe, a little bar like le Rubis. Hogarth wouldn't be happy anywhere, Posy, maybe somewhere in 16e, but Daumier would hardly recognise modern Paris outside the Ile Saint Louis. We'll just have to go for my choice: either Cafe de la Mairie or La Palette or L'Abribus in Belleville, or cocktails at the very hip Curio Parlour, or that little bar by the Marche d'Aligre or any one of a hundred other good bars in the city. Decision: given they're artists, let's make it the bar of Marais art bookshop, La Belle Hortense. Drawing is sexier in Paris too.
And please add your fantasy Paris dinner party/pub crawl list of invitees below: