Suzanne Valadon was born in 1865 and became a circus performer at the age of 15. When an injury ended her career, she began modeling for such famed artists as Degas, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. Encouraged by Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec, Valadon observed their techniques and taught herself to paint. Beginning with drawings and prints, she worked in lithography and etching. In 1909, she began working extensively on paintings.
At the age of 18, Valadon gave birth to a son, Maurice Atrillo, who also became an artist. Suzanne Valadon gained a reputation as one of the most outstanding women in the School of Paris. She produced works of art until 1938 when she suffered a stroke, causing her death.