Maurice Utrillo is the very example of the self-taught painter, trained by the street and not by museums. His eventful life contributed to creating the legend of a tormented artist whose sadness is expressed in the countless views of Paris and its suburbs.

Maurice Utrillo is one of the only painters of the ‘Butte’ to have been born in Montmartre, he is the son of Suzanne Valadon, model for Puvis de Chavannes, Berthe Morisot, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec. It is by observing them that she learns to paint, her son being one of her favorite models when he agrees to hold the pose. Suzanne Valadon is introduced to Edgar Degas who teaches her some techniques, encourages her to paint and is her first buyer.

Despite his mother’s good connections, young Maurice, the illegitimate son of a bohemian who was a poet, painter, singer but above all a drunkard, Utrillo could have gone bad. Fortunately, his mother succeeded in teaching him painting, which would always remain his only therapy until his death.

His childhood was spent with his grandmother, his feelings of abandonment and loneliness made him sink into alcohol, causing many disorders (violence, dementia). From the age of 18, he made several stays in the asylum. However, his therapeutic occupations saved him and perhaps helped to reveal his genius.

Maurice Utrillo began to paint regularly from 1926 onwards and made a living from his painting.

In 1936 he married Lucie Valore with whom he settled in Le Vésinet. She plays a role in the management of the couple’s finances and watches over Maurice to prevent his relapse into alcoholism.

During his career, Maurice Utrillo mainly painted urban landscapes, views of the Montmartre district that can be admired through his paintings, etches and lithographs. His style is so particular that it is difficult to classify him in an artistic movement.