The most painted woman after the Madonna? Suzy Solidor
Almost everyone knows that the Madonna is the most painted woman ever, but few know that in second place it is Suzy Solidor, an eclectic figure, French singer and cabaret artist who, between the two world wars, animated the Parisian scenes and conquered the artistic scene of Europe.
More than 225 artists have done hundreds of portraits to Suzy Solidor and among these we find Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Jean Cocteau, Francis Picabia, Tamara de Lempicka, etc.
Born in 1900, Suzy Solidor was the daughter of a French single mother and she dreamed of being a model; at the age of 30 she became a true star of Parisian cabaret, but it was her personality that aroused curiosity among the artists of the time and not only. Her personality was particularly eclectic and non-conformist, she did not hide her homosexuality at all, indeed, she flaunted it with nonchalance ...
Her night club covered with her portraits became a reference point for many wealthy Parisians and even during the German occupation the place remained one of the most popular, something not appreciated by her fellow citizens who accused her of collaborationism and who later dismissed her, although, according to the BBC there are several documents that prove Solidor’s loyalty and attesting to her complete innocence. Moreover, it seems that the woman was helping the Resistance and that she also helped several Jews to escape. However, after this episode, Suzy took refuge first in the United States and then in the French Riviera, where she died in 1983, forgotten by everyone.
Independent and self-confident, Solidor animated the Parisian nights with her songs that praised above all love between women, all while wearing her typical blond hair and very elegant clothes that emphasized all the curves of the woman.
But "La Vie Parisienne", her night club, was not the only place where Suzy Solidor performed, in fact she even performed in the movie "La Garconne", next to Edith Piaf, becoming even more famous.
Suzy Solidor was not her real name; her name was Suzanne Louise Marie Marion and it was only in Paris that she decided to take on this stage name that everyone remembers today.
In practice, Suzy was a true icon of the time, one of the most discussed characters both for the life she led and for her ideas, as well as for her very extrovert temperament. Brave and full of resources, Solidor lived her homosexual relationships naturally, but without ever losing the elegance that characterized her. Among her most ostentatious loves there is the relationship with Tamara de Lempicka, the Polish painter who made the French cabaret artist immortal through the portrait she made of her.
On September 5, 1973, Suzy donated about 40 portraits to the city of Cagnes sur Mer, works that are kept in the Grimaldi Palace and that are part of the permanent exhibition called "Suzy Solidor Donation", as requested by the woman at the time of the donation.
Article by: Aurora Caraman