Βorn in Paris, Utrillo was the illegitimate son of model and artist Suzanne Valadon. A series of alcoholic breakdowns interrupted his career. The artist led a bohemian life and worked feverishly, ignoring contemporary art trends. However, his work was widely acclaimed. In 1928, the French government awarded him with the Cross of the Legion d’honneur.
Utrillo specialized in Parisian street scenes, especially those of Montmartre, and village landscapes. His geometric structures contrast with his picturesque subjects, and while he perpetuates a Post-impressionist style, his impersonal treatment of reality leans towards modernism.