Impasse Cottin, oil on cardboard by Maurice Utrillo, circa 1910; in elipsis
(born Dec. 25, 1883, Paris, Fr.—died Nov. 5, 1955, Le Vésinet) French painter. When he became an alcoholic in his teens, his mother, the painter and model Suzanne Valadon, encouraged him to take up painting as therapy; it soon became his obsession. He had no formal artistic training and was interested primarily in reproducing what he saw as faithfully as possible. Most of his compositions depict the old, deteriorating houses and streets of the Montmartre district of Paris. His best work is that of his “white period” (circa
1908–14), so called for his lavish use of zinc white in heavy layers to build up aging, cracked walls.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.