Full set of ten (original printing 1896) estimated at US $ 500,000-700,000,
Christies, N.Y. Lot 22, Oct. 2001 (edition of 100 only, very rare)
('chahut-chaos', dance of confusion).
"The stars of the turn of the century, were the glory of the Moulin
Rouge and figure in Lautrec's work (including 'La Clownesse Cha-U-Kao)…
Chauhut-Chaos, the evocative name given the wild dances of the Moulin
rouge, was adopted in an oriental version by the performer Cha-U-Kao.
She appeared at the Nouveau-Cirque and at the Moulin Rouge as clown,
dancer or even acrobat." (Dortu,
The Elles portfolio
"Lautrec's series Elles (consisting of 10 sheets with a frontispiece
and cover) is one of the high points of 19th century art. It was
a pictorial to what the artist experienced in the maisons closes
(brothels) of Paris. 'They' are 'women to my liking', as he used
to say cynically, and he often lived with them for weeks at a time
during 1892 to 1895, constant witness of their daily lives, of suffering
and intimacy…" (Adriani,
Fernand Mourlot (1895-1988)
In 1952 the renowned French printer printed this superb series "Elles"
for collectors. They are reduced lithographic versions of Lautrec's
most famous portfolio. They are truly the most beautiful printing
we have been able to find in this size format.
Mourlot Studios was a commercial print shop founded in 1852 by the
Mourlot family and located in Paris, France. It was also known as
Imprimerie Mourlot, Mourlot Freres and Atelier Mourlot. Founded
by Francois Mourlot, it started off producing wallpaper. Later,
his son Jules Mourlot would expand the business to handle the production
of chocolate labels for companies such as Chocolat Poulain, as well
as ledgers, maps and stationary. Starting in the 1920s, Jules' son,
Fernand Mourlot, converted one of the locations into a studio dedicated
to printing fine art lithography.
As vintage printings of Lautrec's work, in all formats, reach high
prices, this mid-century printing offers a superb alternative at
a reasonable price that will only appreciate in value.