The woman christened Marie-Clémentine Valadon (1865–1938) earned a number of monikers, both during her lifetime and subsequent to it. History remembers her as Suzanne—a reference to the biblical story of Susannah and the Elders made by her sometimes lover Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: Valadon, you see, began her career modeling for old men like Auguste Renoir and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. Edgar Degas, a lifelong friend of Valadon and collector of her art, gave her the nickname “terrible Maria.” The historian Catherine Hewitt titled her 2017 biography of Valadon Renoir’s Dancer, based on Valadon’s having posed for Renoir’s signature canvas, Dance at Bougival (1883). The journalist June Rose referred to the artist as “The Mistress of Montmartre” in recognition of Valadon’s freewheeling lifestyle. The...

 

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