Catherine Hewitt's richly told biography of Suzanne Valadon, the illegitimate daughter of a provincial linen maid who became famous as a model for the Impressionists and later as a painter in her own right.
St. Martin's Press
On Sale: February 27, 2018
Hardcover / e-Book
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In the 1880s, Suzanne Valadon was considered the
Impressionists’ most beautiful model. But behind her
captivating façade lay a closely-guarded secret.
Suzanne was born into poverty in rural France, before her
mother fled the provinces, taking her to Montmartre.
There, as a teenager Suzanne began posing for—and having
affairs with—some of the age’s most renowned painters.
Then Renoir caught her indulging in a passion she had
been trying to conceal: the model was herself a talented
Some found her vibrant still lifes and frank portraits as
shocking as her bohemian lifestyle. At eighteen, she gave
birth to an illegitimate child, future painter Maurice
Utrillo. But her friends Toulouse-Lautrec and Degas could
see her skill. Rebellious and opinionated, she refused to
be confined by tradition or gender, and in 1894, her work
was accepted to the Salon de la Société Nationale des
Beaux-Arts, an extraordinary achievement for a working-
class woman with no formal art training.
Renoir’s Dancer tells the remarkable tale of an
ambitious, headstrong woman fighting to find a
professional voice in a male-dominated world.
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