[Attributed to Maurice Utrillo]
Even though he often lived outside Paris, Maurice Utrillo had known the area of Montmartre since his childhood as his mother Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938) had a studio there at 12 Rue Cortot, which he would later share. Utrillo was living in Montmartre at the beginning of the war, lodging with the owner of a small restaurant informally known as Le casse-croûte (The Caff). He could see the Rue du Mont-Cenis from the window of his bedroom and painted several views of this place. The road hugs the slope of the Butte Montmartre and looks over Paris. On the right, the “Berlioz House” can be seen, home of the composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) from 1834 to 1837.
Utrillo also painted a large autumnal view of this road, also in the Musée de l’Orangerie. This composition is very similar but clearly shows light colours and new green leaves making it a spring scene. However, the clumsy application and heaviness of the brushwork make one hesitate to attribute it for certain to Utrillo.
This work is not currently on show.
Provenance: Paul Guillaume; Domenica Walter