Created in 1955, Maurice Utrillo's Paris Capitale series beautifully captures the charm and iconic landmarks of Paris. Through ten lithographs, Utrillo presents a Post-Impressionist vision of the city, celebrating its architecture and vibrant street life.

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Meaning & Analysis

Maurice Utrillo's Paris Capitale series is a homage to the artist’s beloved city, Paris. Born in Montmartre, Utrillo had an intimate connection with the city's streets and landmarks, which he depicted throughout his career. This series, created in 1955, consists of ten lithographs showcasing various iconic sites including Notre-Dame, La Tour Eiffel, and Les Champs Elysées.

Utrillo's style is marked by a unique blend of realism and Post-Impressionism. His use of muted tones and soft brushstrokes creates a serene and nostalgic atmosphere in each print. For example, in La Tour Saint Jacques, the medieval tower is set against a lush green backdrop, with figures leisurely strolling, capturing the peaceful essence of Parisian life.

The series highlights Utrillo’s emotional connection to Paris. Each lithograph reflects his love for the city, portraying both well-known monuments and everyday scenes with equal reverence. Notre-Dame stands as a testament to Utrillo’s ability to convey architectural grandeur, while Montmartre offers a glimpse into the lively spirit of a Parisian neighbourhood.

Utrillo’s work in this series is significant within his oeuvre as it encapsulates his career-long devotion to Paris. His mother, Suzanne Valadon, a noted artist herself, influenced his early works, but Utrillo’s own experiences in the city shaped his unique perspective. His ability to capture the soul of Paris through its changing seasons and bustling streets has left a lasting impact on Modern Art.