Suzanne Valadon. A world of one’s own

SERIES | Loans to museums, spring-summer 2023

Current museum exhibition programming gives us the opportunity to highlight works presently on loan through our gallery.

We invite you to discover and visit these exhibitions over the course of a weekend or during your next summer vacation!

Exposition Suzanne Valadon. Un monde à soi

The exhibition
“Suzanne Valadon.
A world of one’s own”.

At the Centre Pompidou Metz, this major exhibition “Suzanne Valadon. Un monde à soi” (Suzanne Valadon. A Word of One’s Own) aims to highlight the expressive and resolutely contemporary character of the work of Suzanne Valadon, a daring artist who has been somewhat neglected by art history.

While cubism and abstract art were in the making, Suzanne Valadon ardently defended the need to paint reality.

The exhibition highlights the extent and richness of the career of this true “passer-by” from one century to the next, whose trajectory is illuminated by her historical and artistic context, from the end of the 19th century to the eve of the Second World War.

Catalogue de l'exposition "Suzanne Valadon. Un monde à soi"

Nearly 200 works are brought together here, many of which are rarely shown in France and come from Edgar Degas’ personal collection – lent in particular by the Centre Pompidou, which holds the largest number of works by Valadon.

The Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre, the Musée de l’Orangerie, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and important private collections are contributing to this exhibition.

Our gallery is contributing two works on paper, a pastel and a drawing:

Suzanne VALADON (1865 - 1938)<br />
La toilette, 1906

Suzanne VALADON (1865 – 1938)
La toilette
32,7 x 28,5 cm
Private collection


Suzanne VALADON (1865 - 1938)<br />
Nu debout à la jupe longue

Suzanne VALADON (1865 – 1938)
Nu debout à la jupe longue
30 x 18,5 cm
Private collection


You are one of us!

Edgar Degas
to Suzanne Valadon when he discovered her talent for drawing.


Suzanne Valadon, muse and artist

Born on 23 September 1865 in the Haute-Vienne, Marie-Clémentine Valadon followed her mother to Montmartre, who had come to seek prosperity in Paris.

At the age of 15, she had to give up working in the circus after a bad fall. She then chose to become a model, posing for Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, then for Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jean-Jacques Henner, Gustav Wertheimer, Federico Zandomeneghi, Jean-Eugène Clary, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen and Vojtěch Hynais.

Taking advantage of her posing sessions, she observes the artists and learns from them. In this way she perfected her technique and freely displayed herself as the heir to her elders without ever having been their student.

At the age of 18 she gave birth to a son, Maurice Utrillo. In the same year she produced a self-portrait in pastel, the first known work which she signed with the name Suzanne Valadon. From 1892 onwards, she painted her first works on canvas, including Jeune fille faisant du crochet (Musée national d’art moderne).

Suzanne Valadon

Suzanne Valadon
Portrait with hat (ca. 1885)
Anonymous photograph
Paris, Marguerite-Durand Library

The year 1894 was marked by the birth of her friendship with Edgar Degas, who would become one of the most important collectors of her work. He taught her intaglio engraving and supported her among their peers.

Among the first women admitted to the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Suzanne Valadon exhibited regularly at Berthe Weill gallery, at the Salon des Indépendants and at the Salon d’Automne, where she became a member in 1920. Four years later, she signed a contract with the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune and the State acquired La chambre bleue (1923). Finally, in 1933, Suzanne Valadon joined the Société des Femmes Artistes Modernes.

When she died on 7 April 1938 of a sudden stroke, she left behind a body of work comprising almost 500 paintings and 300 works on paper.


To go further

Discover the exhibition “Suzanne Valadon. A world of one’s own”, with the new Centre Pompidou Metz podcast “Et si je te raconte”, available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts
Listen here, on YouTube

Practical information

“Suzanne Valadon. A world of one’s own”.
Until 11 September 2023
Centre Pompidou Metz
1 parvis des droits de l’homme
CS 90490
57020 Metz


The exhibition “Suzanne Valadon. A world of one’s own” will be repeated and adapted at the Musée d’arts de Nantes, from 3 November 2023 to 18 February 2024, and at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, from 11 April to 1 September 2024.


Catalogue de l'exposition "Suzanne Valadon. Un monde à soi"

Loans to museums, spring-summer 2023
Discover the other articles in this series:

Marquet in Normandy: at the André Malraux Museum of Modern Art – MuMa, Le Havre Read the article
From Matisse to Chagall. The adventure of painters who bear witness to their times: at the Musée Jean Couty, Lyon Read the article
Henri-Edmond Cross. In the light of the Var. “The most beautiful country in the world”: at the Musée de l’Annonciade, Saint-Tropez and at the Villa Théo – Centre d’art, in Le Lavandou Read the article
Georges Grosz. The Stick Men : at the Grosz Museum, Berlin Read the article