Art: Windswept Family Tree

Marie-Clementine Valadon assured herself of some notoriety when she casually conceived an illegitimate son in the alleys of Montmartre early in 1883. But Suzanne Valadon—as she was renamed by Toulouse-Lautrec, because Suzanne suited her volatile personality better—yearned to be known as more than the mother of Maurice Utrillo. Determined to be an artist in her own right, she painted crude, strong, frank works. Last week Munich's Haus der Kunst was exhibiting a retrospective show that examined the talent of both mother and son.

Neither was burdened with academic art training, but both developed a highly personal style. In an age that no...

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