Maurice Utrillo - Rue de Mont-Cenis à Montmartre - image-1

Lot 61 D

Maurice Utrillo - Rue de Mont-Cenis à Montmartre

Auction 1177 - overview Cologne
17.06.2021, 18:00 - Modern/Contemporary Art - Evening Sale
Estimate: 35.000 € - 45.000 €
Result: 100.000 € (incl. premium)

Maurice Utrillo

Rue de Mont-Cenis à Montmartre
Circa 1930

Gouache on light card 64.5 x 49.8 cm Framed under glass. Signed 'Maurice.Utrillo.V.' in blue lower right and titled 'Rue de Mont-Cenis à Montmartre' in light brown lower left. - In fine condition. The margins with studio-related drawing pin traces.

The so-called House of Mimi Pinson, located on a corner of Montmartre's Rue de Mont-Cenis, was one of Maurice Utrillo's favourite motifs. The artist repeatedly depicted this street corner and its characteristic buildings, preferring to do so in the winter, with the roofs and cobblestone streets under a thin blanket of snow - a situation which particularly succinctly presents the layered architectural forms, with their pitched roofs, dormers and chimneys, to their best advantage. For most of these views, Utrillo selected a vantage point somewhat removed from the house and a horizontally rectangular format.
In the gouache offered here, however, viewers find themselves directly in front of the building, with the downward slope of the narrow road revealing a splendid view of the facades of the lower-lying multistorey buildings and, beyond them, Montmartre's sea of houses. The artist has worked with a vertical format here, further intensifying the pull exercised by this line of view. Although Utrillo has limited his palette entirely to tones of white, grey and brown as well as terracotta accents, he has provided the painting with a bright and fresh atmosphere.
Mimi Pinson was not a historical individual, but rather a fictional character described by Alfred de Musset in his eponymous poem of 1845. She is the embodiment of the so-called grisette: a young and unmarried woman, poor and of low social standing, who coquettishly and jauntily participates in the life of the Parisian Bohème. Legend associated her with this famous house, which is omnipresent not just in Utrillo's work but also on historical Parisian postcards.


With a photo-certificate by Paul Pétridès, Paris, dated 7 March 1983


Galerie Paul Pétridès, Paris (label on frame backing); Private possession, South Germany