Suzanne Valadon and ‘The Divine Marchesa’ Luisa Casati

Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938) was born into poverty in Montmarte; her son was the painter Maurice Utrillo. Degas encouraged and bought her paintings and drawings and she embarked upon a series of outstanding and very modern paintings, exhibiting widely and becoming a noted figure in the Paris art scene. From the back streets of Montmarte to the top galleries of Paris. Marchesa Luisa Casati (1881-1957) born into a wealthy family, married into Italian aristocracy, launched into a wild life, where she became herself a work of art, dressing outrageously and accompanied by cheetahs, and a menagerie of animals, threw extravagant fancy dress parties.

Julian Halsby formerly Senior Lecturer and Head of Department at Croydon College of Art, has produced many publications and as a practising artist was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists and elected keeper in 2010.