Suzanne Valadon by June Rose
The Mistress of Montmartre

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The illegitimate daughter of a poor country woman, Suzanne Valadon first earned her living as a circus acrobat. Mingling with Impressionists in the clubs and cabarets of Montmartre, she caused a stir with her provocative stunts. When she was eighteen years old, Valadon gave birth to an illegitimate son, the future artist Maurice Utrillo. Posing regularly for Renoir, she became his lover, as well as the lover of others, including Erik Satie and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.

Eventually Valadon's own art won the admiration and support of Degas, with whom she shared a close friendship. Yet many were disturbed by Valadon's works, especially her candid and earthy nudes which, like her sexual conduct, defied convention. After an attempt at marriage to a respectable businessman, she fell in love with Andre Utter, an artist twenty-one years her junior. At nearly fifty years of age, she wed Utter and returned to a bohemian life.

Suzanne Valadon reproduces the artist's bold paintings and drawings, as well as letters and personal documents from a woman who left behind few written records. June Rose's assiduously researched biography chronicles Valadon's colorful life and her significance as one of the finest artists of her day.


About June Rose

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Published February 1, 1999 by St Martins Pr. 284 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Travel. Non-fiction

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Despite violent alcoholism, Valadon’s neglected son, Maurice Utrillo, became an artist in his own right, and the commercial success of his simple, melancholy cityscapes eventually came to support his mother’s critically acclaimed work.

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Publishers Weekly

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Montmartre was only a Parisian village when Marie-Clementine Valadon, the illegitimate daughter of a laundress, moved there with her mother in 1870 at the age of five. By her mid-teens, Valadon was dr

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Publishers Weekly

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But the drama here comes less from Valadon's love and work than from her wayward son, whose artistic genius eclipsed her modest talent but whose destructive drunkenness forced Valadon to put him away, between paintings, in country madhouses.

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