Monday, June 18, 2012
Rue Saint-Rustique sous la neige (Rue Saint-Rustique, Montmartre in the snow)
Oil on cardboard
57 x 81 cm (22 3/8 x 31 7/8 in)
Maurice Utrillo (1883 - 1955) was a French painter who was noted for his depictions of the houses and streets of the Montmartre district of Paris.
Born in the Montmartre quarter of Paris, as the illegitimate son of a painter, Utrillo was the son of the model and artist Suzanne Valadon. His father was not known, and he was given his name by a Spanish art critic, Miguel Utrillo. He had no instruction as an artist apart from that given by his mother, who herself was untutored. When, as an adolescent, he became an alcoholic, his mother encouraged him to take up painting as therapy. Despite his frequent relapses into alcoholism, painting became Utrillo’s obsession. Shy and withdrawn, Utrillo painted very few portraits. He usually portrayed—often using picture postcards as sources—the deteriorating houses and streets of Montmartre, its old windmills, and its cafés and places of amusement. He was also inspired by trips to Brittany and Corsica.
After 1910 his work attracted critical attention, and by 1920 he was internationally acclaimed. In 1928, the French government awarded him the Cross of the Légion d'honneur. In middle age he became fervently religious and in 1935, at the age of fifty-two, he married Lucie Valore and moved to just outside of Paris. By that time, he was too ill to work in the open air and painted landscapes viewed from windows, from post cards, and from memory. Throughout his life, he was plagued by alcoholism and his mental disorder resulted in his being interned in mental asylums repeatedly.
His paintings up until 1907 are dominated by the colors yellow, turquoise, wine red and zinc white. From 1909 to 1914 he confines his palette to white and shades of gray. In order to attain a greater realistic effect with his paintings, he mixed sand and gypsum into the paint. This so-called "Periode blanche" (White Period) marks the highlight of Utrillo's creation.
Posted by merryhaha at 03:21