Thursday, April 24, 2014

U = Utrillo, Maurice of Montmartre - A to Z Challenge

ART: Artists, Art Trivia, Art Legends 

Montmartre was home to artists and windmills in the late 1800s, high in the Paris landscape. The climbing cobbled streets head upward past cafes, the last inner city vineyard in Paris, the Moulin de la Galette, the Montmartre Cemetery, Bateau Lavoir, and finally to Tertre Square and Sacre Coeur.



A Montmartre street in Paris, 'Lapin Agile' on left, by DG Hudson


U = Utrillo, Maurice
1883 - 1955


Maurice Utrillo, or Maurice Valadon, was a French painter born in Paris in the Montmartre quarter. He is one of the few famous painters of Montmartre who began and ended his life in this district. Utrillo is best known for his depictions of the houses and streets of the Montmartre district. He painted few portraits.

Suzanne Valadon, Maurice's mother, was Marie-Clémentine Valadon, an eighteen-year-old artist's model when her son was born. She never revealed who the father was when the time came, generating much speculation. She had posed for Berthe Morisot, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec, who introduced her to Edgar Degas. She was eager to learn and Degas encouraged her and acted as her mentor. Maurice, her son, was given his name by Spanish art critic, Miguel Utrillo, as a last resort.

Maurice Utrillo died in November 1955, and was buried in the Cimetière Saint-Vincent in Montmartre. Although his life was plagued by alcoholism, he lived into his seventies.


Images

'La Rue Norvins à Montmartre', 1910
A street in Montmartre, 1910, with Sacre Coeur Basilica in distance


Square Tertre on Montmartre
Streets and squares, buildings and houses surround Tertre square, the artists market

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At the turn of the twentieth century, the Lapin Agile was a favorite spot for struggling artists and writers, including Picasso, Modigliani, Apollinaire, and Utrillo.




Lapin Agile, Cabaret Artistique, Montmartre, Paris, by DG Hudson


Note: For Utrillo's paintings as well as any photographs of him, there are many restrictions and associations controlling their use, so I can't show you the artist or the paintings with this post. Location photos will show you the general look of the neighborhood in Montmartre where the artists gathered.

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Have you heard of Maurice Utrillo, Montmartre artist? Have you been to the artists market in Tertre Square? Do you like his style?

Please let me know you were here by leaving a comment and thank for visiting! I'll respond.

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Brought to you by the A to Z Blog Challenge 2014 Team and the originator: Lee of Tossing it Out. Click the A to Z list of participants and read on. Hope to see you again as we near the finish line. . .



 
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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Utrillo Information on Utrillo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapin_Agile The Lapin Agile

http://www.biography.com/people/maurice-utrillo-9514159 Utrillo's biography


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12 comments:

  1. I had never heard of Maurice Utrillo before. The paintings I saw of his were all drab, understated, and evoked a depressed feeling in me. That he did few portraits and only understated landscapes may indicate he felt isolated from others. Sad to hear of his battle with alcohol -- another artist with that condition. :-(

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    1. He may have felt isolated at times, as he would sometimes paint from postcards, although he hung around the cafes. He was known to walk around minus clothes down the side streets. Our tour guide told us this story which could be urban legend for Paris. The neighbors would be so used to it, they weren't shocked. That would be another effect of the alcohol. His grandmother may have added a secret ingredient to his baby bottle as well. . . that was from the tour guide in Paris. Poor guy. I like his streetscapes and cityscapes.

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  2. I clicked on the links. I like his paintings. It occurred to me while I was looking at them that artists who paint landscapes have a dual role. They are artists. They are also historians. They are capturing a slice of history. If we have learned anything it is that the landscape always changes.

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    1. I like him too, and you are so right about the landscape or cityscape always changing. Many do not appreciate the historical information we gain from art on location.

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  3. Oh, D. G., I said the wrong thing yesterday, it was Maurice Utrillo's wonderful paintings of Paris that hung on my walls in my teenage room. Not Toulouse-Latrec's , although I like him too, very much. Senior moment, I guess.

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    1. I call those Emily Litella moments, a la Saturday Night Live. I used to mix up Braque and Picasso's early cubist works (their analytical cubism which isn't my fave either.) Nice to know you appreciated art at a young age.

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  4. Curious that no one knew who his father was. I wonder if his mother ever told him?

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    1. She may have known, but wouldn't tell. Victorian sensibilities again. His mother protected him throughout his life. We will never know if he knew. Unless they find a journal . . .

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  5. That's amazing that he suffered alcoholism and lived as long as he did.

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    1. Isn't it? Strong constitution perhaps?

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  6. Ah, artists, they live a different life. I remember having a Utrillo print in my room years ago. The intellectual property thing is tricky, especially now with the internet and so much information out there.

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    1. That's why it's almost impossible to use images dated after 1923.

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