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Suzanne Valadon: Defying the Definitions of Gender in Life and Art Open Access Deposited

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Date Uploaded: 04/25/2023
Date Modified: 04/25/2023

If life is said to imitate art, then Suzanne Valadon’s rebellious, unorthodox, bohemian lifestyle is reflected in her artworks. Valadon's choice of the nude as the primary focus of much of her work reveals much about her role in society. A as a member of the working-class, Valadon was able to step outside the domestic and painted within the traditionally male domain. The art of Suzanne Valadon has been reprised in recent years as feminist art historians have been questioning the art historical canon and challenging the ideology of the nude as a masculine domain. This paper will discuss Valadon’s time as a model, what influence this had on her works, and her relationship with Edgar Degas, her family, and female contemporaries. It will also examine why Valadon chose the nude as the primary focus of much of her works and what this says about her role in society. Through this study, I hope to give better insight on why Valadon’s works were championed during her life, but the recognition faded after her death. Through her work, Valadon challenged not only the rules of the day, but she reclaimed the female nude in her work, the woman was no longer an object to be viewed but a subject in her own right.

  • BA
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  • Platts, Christopher


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