Full size (printed in 1893) sold for $ 43,875 US Sotheby's, N.Y. Lot
146, March 2001.
"Toulouse-Lautrec shows Jane Avril on stage doing her speciality,
which according to contemporaries, was essentially a cancan that
she made exotic by making a pretense of prudery, the 'depraved virgin'
image at arousing the prurience in the predominantly male audience.
The sexual innuendo was captured by the artist by contrasting the
dancer's slender legs with the robust, phallic neck of the bass
viol in the foreground. A masterly stroke that not only heightens
our perception but also creates as unusual perspective. We see the
performer as an orchestra member would. And this allows Toulouse-Lautrec
to show, as if inadvertently, how tired and somewhat downcast she
looks close-up, not at all in keeping with the gaiety of the dance
that is perceived by the audience. It is clear that she is dancing
entirely for the viewers pleasure, not hers, which makes it a highly
poignant image. Seemingly without trying, Toulouse-Lautrec not only
creates a great poster but makes a personal statement. Only a person
who really cares about his subject as a human being would portray
her with such startling candour "(Wine
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.