Full size (printed in 1899) sold for $ 58,250 US, Sotheby's, N.Y.
Lot 147, Mar. 2001.
"It is very fitting that one of Toulouse-Lautrec's finest
posters should be the last one he made for Jane Avril. It is dated
in February of 1899, and in March he entered a clinic for the first
time. This fascinating work is a true child of the Art Nouveau age...
It shows the constant flirtation with the macabre that is part of
Art Nouveau. Snakes were portrayed a great deal in the jewelry of
the period... So Toulouse-Lautrec's final portrayal of Jane Avril
is not as a Japanese geisha from Bing, but as a girl stifled by
the art of her time. She liked the poster very much, but her impresario
refused it, and it was never shown" (Abdy
"The snake costume was probably an invention of Lautrec's
rather than one that Jane Avril actually wore in a dance, which
may be why her manager rejected the poster and it was never used.
A preparatory drawing shows only a boa-like form wound around the
dancer. In comparison to the poster made of her six years before,
this design shows both Avril and Lautrec under the sway of Art Nouveau.
Janes's form fitting dress departs entirely from the bonnet's, aprons,
petticoats, and full skirts of her earlier costume (see
Jane Avril), and one might assume that her dancing had changed
to a similarly sophisticated style. The snake, at which she feigns
horror, is used to complement her twisting form" (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.