Artcurial's forthcoming Paris sale of books, comics and autographs on December 14 will feature a manuscript which gives a fascinating look into the life of one of France's most famous cityscape artists.
Described as "one of the most admired artists of his generation", Maurice Utrillo (1883 - 1955) rose to fame in the early part of the 20th century with his renowned paintings of Monmarte. He was awarded the Cross of the Légion d'honneur by the French government in 1928, and his work can be seen in galleries across the world and has been reprinted on a series of hugely popular French postcards.
The manuscript on offer at the sale is a 29-page hand-written autobiography of his early life featuring 6 original watercolours depicting scenes from his youth by his friend artist George Bognetti. It has an estimated value of $26,400 - $39,700.
Utrillo was a troubled youth who showed a tendency towards truancy and alcoholism from an early age, and he was interned in mental asylums repeatedly throughout his life due to mental illness. His manuscript touches on many of the problems he faced, including his struggles with art dealers and the various jobs he was forced to take, and describes how he found comfort in painting after being taught by his mother.
His work has recently been the subject of several retrospectives and a Paris auction of his work in November this year raised over $7m.
Although notoriously overlooked for years by many French museums, it seems his work is gradually gaining recognition and as his legacy grows in stature unique items such as this manuscript should prove to be popular with both collectors and investors alike.
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