The Pink House in Montmartre
Following the direction indicated by Dalida’s bronze bust, we walk up the gently rising Rue de l’Abreuvoir. We now arrive at La Maison Rose (the Pink House) on the junction of Rue de l’Abreuvoir and Rue des Saules.
Maurice Utrillo, son of model turned artist Susan Valadon, painted the scene and, because history records him as being fond of the Montmartre bistros, would have drunk in it many times.
Many painters of the period were from wealthy bourgeois or aristocratic families. Painters such as Degas, Manet or Toulouse-Lautrec were from privileged backgrounds.
Susan Valadon and her son Maurice Utrillo were neither bourgeois nor aristocratic but from humble origins. The native urban style they developed became known as the ‘Paris School’.
Some of Utrillo’s works are to be seen in the Orangerie Museum near to Place Concorde, Paris.
The information panel put up by the Mayor of Paris at the Pink House reads:
‘Maurice Utrillo’s Pink House:
Maurice Utrillo was born in Rue du Poteau in 1883. His mother was Suzanne Valadon. Suzanne Valadon (1867 – 1938) was an acrobat and painter’s model who was encouraged by Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and Renoir to develop her own powerful, and expressionistic (painting) technique.
After his first confinement in Sainte-Anne (a Paris mental hospital) in 1900, his mother, following the doctor’s advice, introduced him to painting.
As attached to the urban setting as his mother was to the portrait, Utrillo broke away from the landscape painting tradition creating a poetical and melancholic portrait of the city.
Most of his works are set in the streets of Montmarte, the style is driven by the wish for perfect representative realism similar to the naive painting style.
In spite of his reputation as a ‘cursed’ painter he was in fact successful from 1919 onwards. Utrillo died in 1955 and is buried in the Saint-Vincent cemetery (also in Montmartre) between his mother and his partner, Lucie Valore.’
For wheelchair users please return to point 6 on the dedicated wheelchair page.
At the Maison Rose turn left into the Rue des Saules and head down the hill, on the way down, to your right you will see a vineyard.