of one of Maurice Utrillo's depictions of the "Maquis" of Montmartre, in Utrillo's time a very poor
of the well-known Paris neighbourhood. Which Utrillo work did my granddad use as a blueprint, and where exactly was Utrillo's vantage point?
I'll be visiting Paris this weekend, and I'd like to visit the location if at all possible. Now, I know the Maquis was demolished long ago, and I hold no illusions that the location will be even remotely recognizable as the scene in the painting. But if it could be determined that Utrillo's vantage point for the work was in the middle of what is now a residential building or something, I'd still be perfectly happy.
Essentially my question is twofold:
1) Which painting did my grandfather base himself on? Here are some images of Utrillo paintings of scenes similar
to my grandfather's homage. Note that this just a random collection of similar-looking ones I found on the web during a few days' searching, it is not necessarily, and most probably not, exhaustive.
2) What was Utrillo's vantage point for the original painting? There are definitely some clues in the original works, as almost all of them show what is definitely (?) a tower of the Sacré-Cœur
in the top left, and a windmill which could well be the Moulin de la Galette
, or possibly a different mill that did not survive to the present day, on the right. Another clue could be the road sloping upwards on the left side of the painting, but I have no idea if it survives.
My closest guess based on online research would be somewhere around the Avenue Junot / Rue de l'Abreuvoir area, as it seems to fit both the historical Maquis and the area where Utrillo lived (and rarely seemed to stray from?). I am also aware that it's a popularly depicted area of Paris in films and the like. Nevertheless, never having been to Paris, I can only judge from what I find on the web, including Google Street View, the latter being of course of little use given the historical changes in the area.
I have tried to contact relevant institutions, notably Utrillo Experts
in Florida, and the Maurice Utrillo Association
and Montmartre Museum
in France, but they either haven't responded yet or required significant financial compensation for any aid in my research, which I cannot afford.
Also, some of you may wonder about the year in which the original was painted. Despite my research so far I'm finding this suprisingly difficult to determine, not least because I'm not yet sure about which original to go with. My working hypothesis is around the 1930s, but then other sources maintain the Maquis was demolished in the 1910s. So I'm completely prepared to be proven wrong.
Lastly, my grandfather was of course an amateur and his interpretation of the Utrillo painting has little value beyond the sentimental. So does my little pilgrimage, as you will understand. Again, I have no illusions of re-discovering a fabled Montmartre of times past. I am not expecting a Woody Allen film: I'd be happy with a bare wall.
Thank you in advance for any and all responses, Metafilter.