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.


'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


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.


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.


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. . .


References: Information on Utrillo The Lapin Agile Utrillo's biography