Maurice Utrillo was born in Montmartre in 1883. Working as a model for the artists Puvis de Chavannes, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec, Utrillo's mother, Suzanne Valadon, rapidly neglected her son and devoted herself to painting instead.
Utrillo suffered from mental illness and addictions, the former resulting in an urge to paint. Following the advice of a doctor, Valadon was encouraged to start up a career in painting. It became apparent that he was endowed with a real talent. As early as 1926, Maurice Utrillo became well-known and his works were much in demand by collectors.
Utrillo never adhered to the major artistic currents, such as the Fauvist, Cubist or Post-Impressionist movements, which emerged. Everything he wanted to signify was told in the scenes he painted, according to his own perspective.
Utrillo's landscape is not that of nature. Contrary to the Impressionist painters he left little place to depcit water or earth, preferring urban Parisian scenes, often in Montmartre. His landscapes are invaded by buildings erected by human hands.