Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale


Maurice Utrillo
1883 - 1955
signed Maurice, Utrillo, V and dated 1923 (lower right); signed Maurice, Utrillo, V, and inscribed 12 rue Cortet, Paris (18e rrt) on the reverse
oil on canvas
131 by 162.5cm., 50 7/8 by 64 1/8 in.
Painted in 1923.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Utrillo-Valadon.


Josse & Gaston Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired directly from the artist)
Henri Canonne, Paris (acquired from the above circa March 1925)
Private Collection, France (by descent from the above)
Private Collection
Private Collection, France (sale: Christie’s, New York, 3rd November 2004, lot 56)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Arsène Alexandre, La Collection Canonne: Une histoire en action de l’impressionnisme et des suites, Paris, 1930, illustrated pp. 104-5
Paul Pétrides, L’Œuvre complet de Maurice Utrillo, Paris, 1962, vol. II, no. 1009, illustrated p. 393

Catalogue Note

Impressive in both scope and scale, Les anciens moulins de Montmartre et la ferme Debray is one of the most significant works executed by Maurice Utrillo. The subject of the three windmills atop the hill of Montmartre was of abiding interest and paramount importance to Utrillo, and the artist returned to the motif throughout his creative life, depicting this particular view at different times of day and throughout the changing seasons. Utrillo utilised vintage postcards on occasion as the source for his paintings, imbuing his scenes of Paris with an almost timeless quality. Indeed, the present work was titled as Les moulins de Montmartre avant la naissance du peintre in Arsène Alexandre’s 1930 publication devoted to the Canonne Collection, which lends credence to the theory that a postcard recording this scene as it was in the early 1880s served as the source image in this instance.

Les anciens moulins de Montmartre et la ferme Debray boasts a distinguished provenance, having originally been in the collection of Josse and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune of the celebrated gallery owning family, before passing into the collection of Henri Canonne. Canonne was the inventor of the Valda tablet, a form of throat sweet which is still in production today. The Valda tablet proved so successful that Canonne was able to build up an impressive collection of Impressionist artworks, reputedly owning forty works by Monet and ten Renoirs at one stage, as well as three other Utrillo paintings.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale