The Windmill at Sannois

Maurice Utrillo French

Not on view

In the spring of 1912 Utrillo was admitted to an institution in Sannois, on the outskirts of Paris, for a cure against alcoholism. He remained there until late summer, returning for extended periods through 1914. During his stay at the sanatorium he was allowed to paint outside the walls of the property and thus executed many paintings of the sites in the village. He was particularly fascinated by an old windmill. In earlier years, he had painted many views of another windmill, that one in Montmartre, which had become the dance hall Moulin de la Galette.

The present picture is one of the first of many versions of the windmill in Sannois that the artist painted frequently throughout his life. The composition is dominated by the almost centrally positioned windmill that commands the landscape and the village buildings around it, and creates a structural axis of the picture. In subsequent views of the windmill Utrillo often used a similar compositional arrangement or created many variations of it.

The Windmill at Sannois, Maurice Utrillo (French, Paris 1883–1955 Dax), Oil on cardboard

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