Valadon Suzanne Biography

Suzanne Valadon was born on September 23rd, 1865 Marie-Clémentine in Bessine-sur-Gartempe, France, the daughter of an unmarried domestic worker. Growing up in the Montmartre area of Paris, she made a living for herself from agef ten with odd jobs: such as waitress, nanny, and circus performer. Fatefully, a fall from the trapeze enforced her to seek a new career path.

From 1880 to 1893, Valadon worked as a model for several relevant painters of that era, including Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. Unable to afford regular art classes, Valadon steadily learned from the painters in her orbit. Soon to be close friend Degas also taught her drawing and etching techniques, and Valadon soon grew from artist?s muse into an established artist in her own right.

Valadon's personal life complicated matters somewhat, and by 1909, she had given birth out of wedlock to Maurice Utrillo (who later became a famous artist), married, and divorced. That same year, Valadon, 44, started painting her new-found career full time, and within two years, she had attracted plaudits from the critics with her first solo exhibition.

The peak of her popularity came in the 1920s, and she enjoyed four major exhibitions throughout her lifetime. Because of her own obvious experiences, Valadon's work was widely recognised as gaving new meaningful insight into the art-genre of the female nude. She died aged 72 on April 7th 1938 in Paris France.