Full size (printed in 1896) sold for $ 46,750 US, Sotheby's, N.Y.
Lot 149, March 2001.
"This lithograph represents Lautrec's only American poster
commission which came from the ink manufacturers Ault & Wiborg
of Cincinnati. The poster is also his only work printed on zinc
rather than stone. Its medium, and small scale were dictated by
the necessity of sending the plates across the Atlantic for printing.
His design showing a couple at a concert was certainly printed in
ink, but otherwise has little to do with the company's product.
It is typical of the occasional disparity between Lautrec's imagery
and thing that is meant to be advertised. The promotional lure,
one used extensively in the nineteenth century, is a colourful depiction
of a pretty young woman.
The image brings out the subtle psychological tensions which Lautrec
often sensed in theatre audiences. Seated together in a loge, the
man and woman seem to be in two different worlds: she is lost in
a melancholy reverie. The pair are reminiscent of Jane Avril and
the critic Edouard Dujardin in the poster
Divan Japonais although
the actual models were probably the actress Emiliene
d'Alencon and the banker Henri Fourcade" (San Diego Museum
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.