This painting will be reproduced in the Renoir catalogue raisonné from François Daulte being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute.
Suzanne Valadon, the sitter of the present portrait, was the mother of the famed artist Maurice Utrillo as well as an artist in her own right. Largely self-taught, she never formally aligned herself with any painting movement. She was inspired by Gauguin's use of wide, flat areas of color and did recieve some instruction from Edgar Degas whose style greatly influenced her choice of themes and compositional manner. Degas became the most avid supporter of her art, recommending her works to dealers and friends. In 1894, five of her drawings were accepted to the prestigious Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
Early on Valadon began to model for important painters that included Puvis de Chavannes, Toulouse Lautrec and Renoir. When she sat for this portrait for Renoir, she was a young girl about 20 years old. She appeared in Renoir's renowned painting of 1883 Le Danse à Bougival (Boston, Museum of Fine Arts) in a flowing white gown and is also portrayed in another of Renoir's portraits from 1885 (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art).