Reference Entry

Utrillo, Maurice

in Benezit Dictionary of Artists

ISBN: 9780199773787
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199899913 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.B00187411
Utrillo, Maurice

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French, 20th century, male.

Born 25 December 1883, in Paris; died 5 November 1955, in Dax (Landes), buried in Montmartre, in the St-Vincent cemetery.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, pastellist, draughtsman, lithographer, illustrator. Landscapes with figures, urban landscapes. Stage sets.

The illegitimate son of Suzanne Valadon, Maurice Utrillo inherited his name in 1891 from a Spanish painter, Miguel Utrillo y Morlius (painter and biographer of El Greco) who was a friend of his mother and did not want the child to be deprived of civil status. The identity of his true father is unknown and his paternity has variously been attributed to Puvis de Chavannes, Renoir, and Boissy - a chansonnier in the Lapin Agile cabaret. He signed Maurice Valadon or Maurice U. until 1905, then used Maurice Utrillo, V.

Utrillo's mother modelled for painters such as Puvis de Chavannes, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec, then started to paint herself. As a result, Maurice was sent to live with his maternal grand-mother. He suffered from fits at an early age, became an alcoholic and had to seek medical treatment for his addiction at the age of 18. On the advice of a doctor who diagnosed schizophrenia, Suzanne Valadon decided to teach him to paint. Once out of the clinic, Utrillo lived with his mother, who had married a wealthy stockbroker named Paul Mousis and settled in Montmagny (Val d'Oise) while keeping her studio in rue Cortot, Montmartre. Utrillo painted landcapes in Montmagny, in nearby Pierrefitte, in Montmartre and on the banks of the river Seine, living between Montmagny and his mother's studio in Montmartre. He tried to get a place at the École des Beaux-Arts in ...

Reference Entry.  2893 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Painting ; Prints and Printmaking ; Book Arts and Illustration ; 20th-Century Art

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