- Category : Art-Fine-art-artist
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 4
French artist who, as an instinctive painter, worked from nature, memory and even post cards, without theory. He was recognized from 1919 and specialized in landscapes and street scenes. By 1924 he was one of the most successful artists in Paris.
As the son of model-artist Suzanne Valadon, he began to paint at 19 on the advice of his mother, who gave him his first and only instruction. His father was an amateur artist named Boissy; he took his surname from Miguel Utrillo, a Spanish journalist and art critic who adopted him when he was eight. Throughout his youth, he was cared for by his maternal grandmother. At the College Rollin he was a poor student and after three years left school to work as a bookkeeper. His health was poor.
In 1902 he began to draw and paint, but without initial enthusiasm. As he moved his work outdoors, he began to care for the vistas of Paris. By 1908 he had developed his own distinct style and during the following six years, produced his most celebrated canvases, including his series of churches. By 1909 he was attracting the attention of collectors.
During WW I, Utrillo produced more than 1,000 pictures, moving toward a more linear, dry and precise, architectural style. He was rejected by the army in 1915 for medical reasons. A severe alcoholic from youth, his life began to alternate between periods of freedom and repeated stays in sanatoriums, most markedly between 1921 and 1924.
Official recognition came in 1928 when he was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor. In 1953, a Utrillo painting sold for 2 million francs, reportedly the largest sum ever paid for one of his works at public sale.
On 18 April 1935, Utrillo married Mme. Lucie Pauwels, a former actress and widow of a banker. They bought a villa in the Paris suburbs two years later, where they resided. His wife managed his business affairs to make him a wealthy man.
Utrillo died on 5 November 1955.