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Art and Images in Psychiatry
October 2005

Lapin Agile in Winter

Author Affiliations

James C.HarrisMD

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62(10):1070. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.62.10.1070

Ah, Montmartre, with its provincial corners and its bohemian ways . . . I would be so at ease near you, sitting in my room, composing a motif of white houses or all other things. Utrillo to César Gay from the Villejuif asylum, 19161(p6)

Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955) was born on December 26 in the Montmartre quarter of Paris, France. He began to paint as occupational therapy under the tutelage of his mother to divert him from alcoholism.2 Reluctant at first, he gradually began to paint what he saw around him. His cityscapes (city streets, favorite parts of Montmartre, and churches) delighted the man in the street and intrigued the connoisseur. Although he was surrounded by the founders of modern abstract art, he recreated the city around him by realistically presenting simplified images of familiar scenes. His work has a certain calmness and a nostalgic vitality about it, suggesting that there might indeed be something therapeutic in his painting.

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