About the Artist
Maurice Utrillo, born Maurice Valadon (26 December 1883 – 5 November 1955), was a French painter of the School of Paris who specialized in cityscapes. Born in the Montmartre quarter of Paris, France, Utrillo is one of the few famous painters of Montmartre who were born there.
Libaudeě Collection, Paris Galerie Dr Raeber, Basel Sam Salz Inc., New York Albert J. Dreitzer, New York Sale: Christie’s, New York, 15th May 1979, lot 34 Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Paris, Galerie Barbazanges, Maurice Utrillo, śuvres peintes de 1910 aĚ 1914, 1925, no. 39 New York, Wildenstein Gallery, Utrillo, 1957, no. 31, illustrated in the catalogue Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art, Utrillo, 1963, no 27, illustrated in the catalogue
Paul PeětrideĚs, L’Śuvre complet de Maurice Utrillo, Paris, 1959, vol. I, no. 250, illustrated p. 307 Jean Fabris & Ceědric Pailler, Catalogue raisonneě de l’śuvre complet de Maurice Utrillo, Paris, 2009, vol. I, no. 208, illustrated p. 272
Painted towards the end of the artist’s famous ‘white period’, the present work is a beautiful example of Utrillo’s transition to more colorful compositions. In contrast to the bold and vibrant palette favored by most of his peers, Utrillo preferred a more subtle and understated color scheme. Utrillo’s artistic approach earned him great acclaim, and in 1926 the critic Adolphe Tabarant wrote of how Utrillo was ‘obsessed with white – an incredible white! Dissatisfied with the effects obtainable with zinc white (the only white he used), he tries combining it with plaster, to reproduce the whites of his beloved walls. In a frenzy of realism, he would like to go as far as to put real moss on the old stones which he strives so hard to reproduce’ (Adolphe Tabarant, Utrillo, Paris, 1926). Le Petit Chateau Rose D’Asnieres (Hauts-de-Seine) is a wonderful example of the artist’s celebrated use of chalky tones, and the soft greys, blues, earthy greens, and delicate pinks here breathe new life into the stone walls of the chateau. The dark figure standing with his back to the viewer acts as a central focal point, drawing our attention towards the abode behind the gate, and beyond.