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Exposition Feature: Suzanne Valadon – Model, Rebel, Painter



2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, US 19130

Until January 9, 2022

From a childhood marked by poverty to a career as a popular artist’s model, Suzanne Valadon (born Marie-Clémentine Valadon, 1865–1938) defied the odds to become a successful artist, confounding societal expectations to assert her independence. The first self-taught woman to exhibit at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, she challenged behavioral codes with her art and lifestyle, breaking new ground with her unapologetic portraits and nudes.

This exhibition considers Valadon’s rich contribution to the early 20th-century art world, the artist’s agency in her career, and her business dealings and marketing strategies. Confrontational and witty, her works tackle themes that remain provocative today: female desire, the conflicts of marriage and motherhood, and a woman’s experience of her own physicality.

In partnership with

The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation maintains and displays one of the world’s leading collections of French impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. The mission of the Barnes is to promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture. 

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