Suzanne Valadon is often reduced to her biographical association with men—as the illegitimate daughter of a domestic laborer, an artist’s model for Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and the mother of painter Maurice Utrillo. However, Valadon became an artist in her own right and in 1894 was the first female painter admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
Her lived experience in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Paris was determined more by her class than by her gender. Unlike Berthe Morisot, whose genre scenes and portraits of family members reflected her own comfortable upper-class life and leisure pastimes, Valadon often depicted working-class women, whose world she knew well. Here, the firm contours and the direct gaze of the nude sitter, as well as her unidealized pose, seem informed by the artist’s own experience as a model.
Charcoal on laid paper
Sheet: 16 5/8 x 16 3/4 in. (42.2 x 42.5 cm) (show scale)
Bottom right: "Suzanne Valadon/1908"
This item is not on view
Carll H. de Silver Fund
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Suzanne Valadon (French, 1865-1938). Nude, 1908. Charcoal on laid paper, Sheet: 16 5/8 x 16 3/4 in. (42.2 x 42.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 44.125.1. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 44.125.1_bw.jpg)
overall, 44.125.1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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