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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION

Le Lapin Agile à Montmartre

Le Lapin Agile à Montmartre
signed 'Maurice, Utrillo, V,' (lower right)
oil on board
22 1⁄2 x 30 3⁄4 in. (58 x 78 cm.)
Painted circa 1912-1914
Galerie Georges Petit, Paris.
Antonio Santamarína, Buenos Aires.
M. Vetrone, Argentina.
Galerie Wildenstein, Paris.
Galerie Koller, Zurich.
Private collection Switzerland, and thence by descent to the present owner.
P. Pétridès, L'œuvre complet de Maurice Utrillo, vol. V, Paris, 1974, no. 2526, p. 142 (illustrated p. 143; dated 'circa 1913-1914').
J. Fabris, Maurice Utrillo, Paris, 1992, p. 241 (illustrated p. 74; dated 'circa 1914').
J. Fabris & C. Paillier, L'œuvre complet de Maurice Utrillo, vol. I, Paris, 2009, no. 303, pp. 615-616 & 696 (illustrated p. 367).
Tokyo, Odakyu Grande Galerie, L'Exposition rétrospective de Maurice Utrillo à l'occasion du trentième anniversaire de la mort de l'artiste, November 1985, no. 20, p. 119 (illustrated pp. 54 & 119; dated 'circa 1914'); this exhibition later travelled to Osaka, Daimaru Art Museum, January 1986, Kyoto, Daimaru Art Museum, January - February 1986, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Art Museum, February - March 1986, and Kumamoto, Prefectural Art Museum, April - May 1986.
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot Essay

The period around the early 1910s was a crucial juncture in Maurice Utrillo’s early career. Although his application to the École des Beaux Arts had been rejected in 1909, Utrillo gained initial recognition from both critics and collectors. The dealer Louis Libaude signed a contract with him and promised his mother, the painter Suzanne Valadon, that he would look after her son. Soon after, three of Utrillo's landscapes were shown at the Salon d'Automne.
Around 1909 the colour palette of Utrillo changed, and it was during this time that he realized a personal and unmistakable style in his Manière blanche, the 'White Period', so named for the bleached and ashen palette he employed in his cityscapes. The painter tried to capture the specific colour scheme of the white walls under the Parisian sun, sometimes even mixing plaster with his white oil colours to mimic the weathered facades of buildings.
Le Lapin Agile à Montmartre, painted in 1912-1914, is a depiction of the renowned Parisian cabaret, and an exceptional example from the Manière blanche, distinguished by its solid and meticulous rendering of perspective and heavily impastoed buildings. Serving as the favoured meeting place for the artistic bohemia, including Utrillo himself, the Lapin Agile is now considered one of the most desired subjects from his œuvre, not to mention those from the coveted Manière blanche. This wonderfully rare oil depicting the famous Parisian spot, captures the specific ‘Utrillo’ vision of Parisian streets – a sentimental, empty landscape; an ideal scene for a flâneur.

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