“Born one day after Christmas, at No. 8 rue du Poteau in Montmartre, in the 18th district of Paris, Maurice Utrillo is one of the few famous painters of Montmartre who was born there. He is the son of the painter Suzanne Valadon (whose real name is Marie Clémentine Valadon) and an unknown father. It is probably not the son of Catalan painter Miquel Utrillo, one of Suzanne Valadon's lovers, who nevertheless recognized him in 1891 and gave him his name.
Suzanne Valadon became the model of Toulouse-Lautrec, Puvis de Chavannes, Auguste Renoir (who called her Maria), even Vincent van Gogh and many other Montmartre painters of which she would have been sometimes the mistress. It is by observing them that she learned to paint and launched into his first drawings (his son was one of his favorite models when he agreed to hold the pose). He was introduced to Edgar Degas who taught him some techniques, encouraged him to paint and was his first buyer.”