Suzanne Valadon

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Woman Artist Model Suzanne Valadon

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Suzanne Valadon was born in 1865 at Bessines-sur-Gartempe, an illegitimate daughter of a French laundress. She became an artists' model, posing for such artists as Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Renoir.Mingling with the Impressionists in the clubs and cabarets of Montmartre, where she caused a sensation with her provocative stunts, Suzanne took numerous lovers. At eighteen she gave birth to an illegitimate son, the future artist Maurice Utrillo. Valadon soon took interest in painting. She observed the techniques of the artists for whom she was posing and began creating her own paintings. Among the artists she knew were van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso and Modigliani.

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With her son, the famous painter Maurice Utrillo, born Maurice Valladon

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Family portrait, c. 1910. Utter, Valladon, Utter’s mother and Maurice Utrillo

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Mother Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938) and son Maurice Utrillo, born Maurice Valadon (1883-1955)

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From age nine Suzanne supported herself by doing odd jobs. One was as a circus acrobat. She did it until she fell off the trapeze when she was sixteen.

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The Violin Box, 1923

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Suzanne Valadon painted still-lifes, floral art, and landscapes that were noted for their strong composition and vibrant colors. Her first exhibitions in the early 1890s consisted mainly of portraits, among them one of Erik Satie with whom she began an affair in 1893. Portrait of Composer Erik Satie c.1892

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Portrait of Lily Walton 1923

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Portrait of Mme Zamaron 1922

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Genevieve Camax-Zoegger, 1936

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Portrait of Madame Coquiot 1918

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Femme allongee sur un canape

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Even if Valadon received no formal art training, she was able (through her close associations with prominent artists) to develop a re-gendering of women's bodies and strength. The self-absorption and vitality of her subjects, for instance, are in stark opposition to the essential passivity of females nudes that had until then been the traditional manner of representing womanhood.

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The abandoned doll This painting exhibits all the characteristics of Valadon's mature work: brightly colored forms defined by heavy, dark outlines; strange, somewhat awkward poses; and deliberately simplified, distorted anatomy and space.

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Reclining Nude on a Sofa , 1928

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Nudes (1919). (MASP, Sao Paulo).

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Nu assis sur un divan 1922

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Le lancement du filet ,1914

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Adam and Eve, modeled on Valadon and her young lover In 1906, her son Maurice introduced to her his friend Andre Utter. By that time she was married to stockbroker Paul Mousis, whom she had married in 1896. She fell in love with Andre Utter, na artist 21 years younger than her, who became the love of her life

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Self portrait, 1927

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Portrait de Utrillo 1921

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La femme aux bas blancs 1924

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Woman with a Double Bass 1914

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Montocorin farm

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L’aulne dans la prairie - 1922

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Houses on the countryside -1916

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View from My Window in Genets (Brittany) 1922

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Portrait of Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955), his Grandmother and his Dog, 1910

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The Blue Room

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Young Girl sitting on a low wall -1930

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Marie Coca and her Daughter

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The Bath, 1905

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A strikingly beautiful girl, she found work as an artists' model and used the opportunity to observe and learn the artists' techniques. She modeled for such greats as Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, all of whom would have an affair with her. She haunted the sleazy bars of Paris with the men and in 1889 Toulouse-Lautrec would paint a famous portrait of her titled: "The Hangover” (La Buveuse). Suzanne Valadon: the model

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Toulouse Lautrec, The Drinker c. 1888

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Toulouse Lautrec, La Buveuse 1889

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Pierre Renoir – Umbrellas. Model: Suzanne Valadon

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Renoir, Girl Braiding Her Hair

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Renoir, Danse a Bougival Steinlen, Portrait of Suzanne Valadon

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Renoir, Portrait

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Suzanne Valadon by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. 1886-87

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Toulouse Lautrec, The Laundry Worker

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Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre (1824-98) Untitled painting of Suzanne Valadon 1880

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Amedeo Modigliani, “Portrait de Suzanne Valadon”

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Marcel Leprin (1891-1933) Suzanne Valadon and her Cat

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T-A Steinlen, Portrait de Suzanne Valadon , T-A Steinlen, Suzanne Valadon (vue en contre-plongee), 1896.

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Andre Utter, Suzanne Valadon Combing Herself

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Utrillo, Portrait of Suzanne Valadon

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In 1890 she became friends with painter Edgar Degas. After seeing some of Valadon's work, Degas encouraged her efforts to become an artist, buying some of her pieces and helping her get her career started. Due to encouragement from Degas, in 1894 Valadon became the first woman to show at the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, a major French artistic accomplishment. Edgar Degas -Le Tab model Suzanne Valadon

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the character of Suzanne Rouvier in Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge. When she died , many notables from the Parisian art community came to her funeral, including Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Andre Derain. Suzanne was buried in Paris. Suzanne Valadon died in 1938. Her art continues to generate interest as time passes and is significantly represented in collections of The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The National Museum of Women in the Arts and Paris’ Centre Pompidou. The intensity of Suzanne’s palette matched the passion of her actions and emotions, just like her ability to go from model to peer among painters reflected her self-determination and resilience. Her free-spirited ways have inspired novels, biographies and films, and she was even the ,likely basis for

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Self portrait « Que des hommes m’aient aimee, soit. Mais je veux etre aimee des hommes qui ne m’auront jamais vue, qui demeureront a rever et a m’imaginer devant un carre de toile ou, avec mes couleurs, j’aurai laissee un peu de mon ame » Suzanne Valadon

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Lilibeth 1/28/2012