Art: Maria of Montmartre

Simply as one of Montmartre's favorite models of the 1880s and 1890s, the petite ex-trapeze artist named Marie-Clémentine Valadon would have remained a fascinating creature. Her striking features, intense blue eyes and mocking impudence attracted most of the painters of her youth, from Puvis de Chavannes to Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. But because Marie-Clémentine gave birth to Maurice Utrillo, one of the century's most successful, eccentric and curiously talented painters, her fame as model and mother has largely obscured another passion she fiercely nourished: to be an artist in her own...

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