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Jane Avril. 1893.

Jane Avril. 1893.

Item Description:

Artist: HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901)
Size: 36 1/2 x 50 3/8 in./92.8 x 128 cm
Condition: A. Framed.
Printer: Imp. Chaix, Paris
Reference: Ref: Wittrock, P6B; Adriani, 11-I; Wagner, 7; DFP-II, 828; Maitres, 110 (var); Driehaus, p. 109; Wine Spectator, 41; Reims, 784; PAI-LXXIII, 463
Key Words: Art Nouveau; Artist: Toulouse-Lautrec; Dance

Jane Avril. 1893.
"Universally considered his most brilliant and successful design" (Wagner, p. 22). The Wine Spectator introduces Toulouse-Lautrec's world-famous lithograph this way: "Jane Avril on stage doing her specialty, which, according to contemporaries, was essentially a cancan that she made exotic by making a pretense of prudery—the 'depraved virgin' image aimed at arousing the prurience in the predominantly male audience. The sexual innuendo was captured by the artist by contrasting the dancer's slender legs with the robust, phallic neck of the bass viol in the foreground—a masterly stroke that not only heightens our perception but also creates an unusual perspective: we see the performer as an orchestra member would, and this allows Toulouse-Lautrec to show, as if inadvertently, how tired and somewhat downcast she looks close-up, not at all in keeping with the gaiety of the dance that is perceived by the audience. It is clear, as Maindron has pointed out, that she is dancing entirely for the viewer's pleasure, not hers, which makes it a highly poignant image. Seemingly without trying, Toulouse-Lautrec not only creates a great poster but makes a personal statement: Only a person who really cares about his subject as a human being would portray her with such startling candor" (Wine Spectator, 41). This is a hand-signed poster dedicated to A. Alexandre.

About The Artist:

HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901)


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