Full size (printed in 1893) sold for $ 57,500 US Poster Auctions International,
N.Y. Lot 547, May. 2003.
"Here one sees Lautrec's third poster for Bruant, which was
designed to be overprinted with different texts for different occasions.
Again commissioned by singer himself, it was issued in four editions
announcing performances at the Theatre Royal and Alcazar Lyrique,
and his homecoming in Montmartre. Perhaps the most memorable of
Bruant's posters, it stands as the heroic icon of the cafe era.
By showing the figure from behind looking over his shoulder, Lautrec
condenses the swaggering personality into three bold shapes, the
great arc of black cape, red scarf, and black hat, that become symbolic
of Bruant himself.
While general comparisons have been drawn between Lautrec's graphic
style and Japanese prints, it is likely that for this poster the
artist made specific reference to woodcuts of Japanese actors. Such
Kabuki prints emphasized individual personality through dramatic
form and posture. Japonisme had been pervasive in French painting
and printmaking since the 1870's. Lautrec was familiar with Japanese
prints through exhibitions held in Paris and even formed his own
collection of them" (San Diego Museum of Art)
During the 1960s the renowned French printer, Mourlot Freres, printed
this superb series "Les Affiches de Toulouse-Lautrec"
for collectors. They are reduced lithographic versions of Lautrec's
most famous works. They are truly the most beautiful printing we
have been able to find in this size format.
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.