Erik and Suzanne

One of Suzanne Valadon’s first oil paintings, the charmingly naive portrait of Erik Satie commemorates a brief, intense love affair between the two. In return Satie composed the song “Bonjour, Biqui, Bonjour!” and adorned the autograph score with a cartoon portrait of her. It is unlikely that Valadon ever heard the song or saw the manuscript, which was found in Satie’s effects at his death. The affair lasted six months, though he continued to send her love letters for some thirty years and is not known to have had another love. Valadon’s self-portrait below dates from the same époque.


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