Thursday, 29 March 2012

La Suzanne

Suzanne Valadon                             Victorine ou La Tigresse (1919)

Reclining Nude (1928)

Suzanne Valadon, born Marie-Clémentine Valadon (1965 - 1938) was a free spirited French painter,who  started modeling as a teenager for artists like Toulouse-Lautrec and Renoir before picking up a  brush herself. It was Degas, whom she befriended in the early 1890's, who encouraged her to paint.  She belonged to the Bohemian artists of Montmartre. At the age of 18 she gave birth to her son  Maurice, born out of wedlock, his biological father was unknown. When Maurice was 8, Spanish  artist Miguel Utrillo y Molins signed a legal document acknowledging paternity, although it was  never really clear, if he in fact was the father. Maurice struggling with alcohol abuse and mental  illness, was introduced to painting by his his mother, and became a famous, international renowned  painter him self, overshadowing the success of Suzanne. 

La Femme au bas blancs (1924)                 Flower vase on a round table (1920)

Suzanne by Toulouse-Lautrec (1885)            Suzanne posing naked

Suzanne painted still lifes, flowers, portraits and landscapes, but was best known for her female  nudes. Her first exhibitions, held in her early 20's in the late 19th century, consisted mostly of  portraits. Today some of her work can be seen in Centre Pompidou in Paris, the museum of Grenoble  and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 

Suzanne Valadon working (1926), she was already 61 here

Madame Lévy                                Suzanne with her son, painter Maurice Utrillo

Femme allongée sur un canapé

She is my favorite female artist, and I love her work for the compositions, and her use of colour.  Her colour palette avokes a sort of romance, loveliness but at the same time her work seems a bit  gritty, which I think describes her  personality; this free spirited girl, with a very strong will,  who became the mistress of Montmartre... She died at the age of 72 and was buried in Paris.

 Aperitif hour on the Butte. Suzanne Valadon, her son Maurice Utrillo, and
 Andre Utter, all famous artists of Montmarte, enjoying some vermouth 
 as they pause from their work.

Le Lilas                                        Suzanne in La Danse à Bougival (1882-1883) 
                                                by Renoir


No comments:

Post a Comment