A Reflection Upon:— Suzanne Valadon ou l'absolu (1865 - 1938)
Art (is here) to eternalize this life that we hate.
She defied artistic convention by painting nude women with natural, even homely bodies, who she presented matter-of-factly, instead of as sex objects. The invisible male viewer never stars in her works; the women are simply enjoying themselves.
Her personal life was filled with scandal. She was born out of wedlock. At 15, Suzanne became a circus performer, she modeled for Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec, and she taught herself by observation. At 18, she gave birth to Maurice Utrillo, who himself became an artist. Her lovers also included composer Eric Satie. She married wealthy Paul Mousis in 1896 for financial security, and left him in 1909 — for André Utter, one of her son's painter friends. Suzanne was 44; André was 23!