Pure Utrillo



On the route back from the Porte de St.Ouen, number 23 on the circuit, we called in to see a recreation of the apartment and studio of Suzanne Valadon in Montmartre. One-time lover of Erik Satie, there were several men in her life, not least of all Maurice Utrillo, and I knew there would be paintings of his alongside. I wanted to see if there was an archetype in his work, a striving for something other than local scenes, a principal that might have carried him through. I’m afraid there was none, not even as much as I hoped when I pictured the empty shop on the corner of the New Line, opposite Rose’s pub in Newcastle, County Tipperary. I had told myself, and hoped, it was pure Utrillo, and he would have aspired to such a condition, but I was not able to investigate a run of his work. Yet faced with the real thing, I was sadly let down. My fantasy had extended itself further to the point of carving that tree stump in front into the form of a sitting dog and opening the old shop as a cafe-restaurant called Wild Rover, for about all six covers you could get in there. With the demise of pure aesthetic on the part of the painter comes the demise of my extending fantasy. SC

Source: Pure Utrillo