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Divan Japonais

1893
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901)


Catalogue Raisonné

Wittrock P11; Delteil 341;

Dimensions

Sheet: 81 x 62.3 cm (31 7/8 x 24 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

68.721

Medium or Technique

Poster, crayon, brush, spatter and transferred screen lithograph, printed from four stones in olive-green, red, yellow and black

Not On View

Collections

Europe, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints, Posters

Nineteenth-century guidebooks described Paris as “the capital of pleasure,” with its thousands of theaters, dance halls, cafés, circuses, racetracks, and other entertainments. Posters advertising these amusements were made possible by the development of color lithography, a process capable of producing large editions of high-quality prints. The clever, eye-catching posters of Toulouse-Lautrec—with their stylized shapes and flat areas of color—immortalized such places as the cabaret Divan Japonais. Here, seated in the audience are the popular dancer Jane Avril and the critic Edouard Dujardin. In the background, beyond the musicians, is the singer Yvette Guilbert, instantly recognizable although the artist does not show her face. A journalist described Guilbert: “She has no bosom to speak of and her chest is quite extraordinarily narrow. She has long—too long—thin arms clad in high black gloves that look like flimsy streamers.”

Inscription

On stone, l.r.: THLautrec/ Imp. Edw. Ancourt, Paris

Provenance

London Graphic Arts, Detroit; 1968, sold by London Graphic Arts to MFA. (Accession Date: November 13, 1968)

Credit Line

Lee M. Friedman Fund