Life can bring wonderful surprises even to people who think they know the history of art well. One such beautiful surprise to me is the French artist Suzanne Valadon (1865–1938).
She had a long and not very easy life, according to our today ideas of happiness. Born into a poor family, she moved to Paris very young to seek work. She has been doing very well as a circus acrobat until a severe trauma because of which she had to leave the circus for ever.
And since Suzanne was beautiful, her natural development in Paris was to become a model.
There had been hundreds of girls posing as models in Paris. Hundreds of them are for us simply unknown models drawn on the paintings of famous artists.
Exactly in such situations, the Fortune gives a chance to strong people to show what they can do.
Very few of the model girls have had the chance to be painted by and become a muse for all Renoir, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and Modigliani. The four left us magnificent portraits of Suzanne and painted her in various poses, out and in atelier.
Unlike many other model girls, Suzanne became a famous painter herself learning while posing, watching at the hands of the painter.
She painted hundreds of landscapes, flowers, still life and portraits that can be compared to the best works of post-impressionists, her teachers. Suzanne is the first woman painter admitted to the National Society of Fine Arts in France.
I especially like her paintings in which she paints women. Suzanne paints woman’s face, hands and body in natural poses, with no ideal forms, with no embellishment. But not only that – the woman in her works is not just a beautiful object, painted to express the author’s emotions or ideas. The woman takes a central place in the Suzanne’s works – paints, reads, thinks, plays music. She is an artist herself with position in life.
I like the women confidence and serenity in the Suzanne’s paintings.
You can take a look at Suzanne Valadon’s works in Wikiart.