Artist: Toulouse-Lautrec French (1864-1901)
Title: Jane Avril
Plate: PL. 110
Original lithograph from "Les Maitres de L'Affiche" series.
Printed by Imprimerie Chaix, Paris, 1898.
Presented in 16 x 20 in. acid free, archival museum mat, with framing labels. Ready to frame. Shipped boxed flat .
Certificate of Authenticity.
Maitre Sheet Size: approx 11 3/8 in x 15 3/4 in 29 cm x 40 cm
Full size sold for $92,000 US Poster Auctions International, NY. May 2008
"Universally considered his most brilliant and successful design" (Wagner, p.22)
“I owe him the fame that I enjoyed,
dating from his first poster of me.” Jane Avril
"Toulouse-Lautrec shows Jane Avril on stage doing her specialty, 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 Spectator, 41)
Colored trial proofs done on the Stone by Lautrec
"Toulouse-Lautrec’s inventive posters established the star status of Jane Avril. In 1893 critic Arsène Alexandre described their collaboration: “Painter and model together have created a true art of our time: one through movement, one through representation.” These works mark the dancer’s debut at the Jardin de Paris on the Champs Élysées, commissioned by the upscale café-concert at Avril’s request. A publicity photograph by Paul Sescau of Avril may have been an inspiration, which Toulouse-Lautrec reinterpreted in an oil sketch. For the final poster, he modified Avril’s expression, tightened her chahut dance pose, and incorporated a decorative frame that shoots from the upright double bass to connect the orchestra in the foreground with the performer on stage. The motif was influenced by Edgar Degas’s painting The Orchestra at the Opera, which Toulouse-Lautrec held in high regard." (phillipscollection.org)