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Lot 662: Moulin Rouge / La Goulue. 1891
October 30, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Artist: HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901) Size: 48 7/8 x 67 1/4 in./121.6 x 171 cm Ch. Levy, Paris Both Lautrec's first poster as well as his first lithograph, the Moulin Rouge design marked not only a new direction for the artist, but for art and advertising in general. It is a masterpiece in every respect of the word, magnificently capturing the essence of two popular performers at the music hall -- the dancer La Goulue and her partner Valentin le Désossé. By leaving the paper blank, Lautrec captures dead center the heart and soul of the cancan: the rush and swirl of layer upon layer of lacy petticoats, erotically calling to the viewer. In a letter to his mother, Lautrec writes: "I am still waitng for my poster to come out -- there is some delay in the printing. But it has been fun to do. I had a feeling of authority over the whole studio, a new feeling for me (Lautrec by Lautrec, p. 90). This is the two-sheet version of the poster, without the top text banner. It should be noted that this is the way that it was sold in the 1890s. With the missing banner, it would have been too large for the print galleries and print collectors who began the collecting craze of the era. And how prized was this image at the time? Arnould, in his 1896 catalogue, sold it for the highest price of any French poster: 25 francs, which was 10 times the price of the Elles poster and five times the price of La Revue Blanche. Rare then, rarer still today! (great art nouveau)
Condition Report: A. Framed.
Dimensions: 48 7/8 x 67 1/4 in./121.6 x 171 cm
Artist or Maker: HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901)