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Suzanne Valadon: The Mistress of Montmartre

June Rose, Suzanne Valadon

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ISBN 10: 031219921X / ISBN 13: 9780312199210
Published by St Martins Pr, 1999
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Suzanne Valadon: The Mistress of Montmartre

Publisher: St Martins Pr

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


A portrait of the artists who created the Montmartre era of art history chronicles the unconventional life of Maurice Utrillo's mother, a fine artist in her own right, who was also the lover of Renoir, Erik Satie, Toulouse-Lautrec, and others.


She posed for Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec; Degas was so impressed by her drawings that he became the first to purchase a work by this self-taught female artist. But though Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938) gloried in the carefree, bohemian artistic scene of Paris's Montmartre neighborhood in the 1880s and '90s, she really came into her own during the early years of the 20th century, when a passionate love for a man 20 years her junior led her to abandon a bourgeois husband and devote herself anew to art. She set to work with a renewed serenity but the same "unfeminine" boldness of line and earthy sexuality that had dismayed tradition-minded viewers from the beginning. It was she who taught her illegitimate son, Maurice Utrillo, to paint in a desperate attempt to wean him from his addiction to alcohol. His fame surpasses hers today in part because male art historians preferred salacious tales of Valadon's many loves and scandalous exploits to sober assessments of her artistic gifts. British art biographer June Rose restores Valadon to her proper place as a peer of the great postimpressionists in a readable narrative that puts her freewheeling personal life into perspective as a product of the same refusal to be constrained by conventional wisdom that fired her art. --Wendy Smith

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