Suzanne Valadon was a French painter and artists' model who was born Marie-Clémentine Valadon at Bessines-sur-Gartempe, Haute-Vienne, France. In 1894, Valadon became the first woman painter admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. She was also the mother of painter Maurice Utrillo.
Valadon spent nearly 40 years of her life as an artist. The subjects of her drawings and paintings, such as Joy of Life, included mostly female nudes, female portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. She never attended the academy and was never confined within a tradition.
As a model Valadon appeared in such paintings as Pierre-Auguste Renoir's 1883 Dance at Bougival and Dance in the City, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's 1885 portrait.