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Cafe and Cabaret: Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris

  • Cafe and Cabaret: Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris - Slide

  • Aristide Bruant in his Cabaret

    1893

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864–1901

    Description

    Aristide Bruant-the famous performer, nightclub owner, and inventor of the chanson realiste (songs written in the slang of working-class Parisians)-appears in his signature outfit of black velvet jacket, wide brimmed hat, and long red scarf. This rare proof impression is before the addition of lettering and background detail.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sight: 138.4 x 96.5 cm (54 1/2 x 38 in.) Framed: 145.4 x 105.4 x 3.8 cm (57 1/4 x 41 1/2 x 1 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Poster, color lithograph printed in black, red, green, and gray, proof before letters

    Classification

    Prints , Posters

    Accession Number

    56.1190

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • Divan Japonais

    1893

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864–1901

    Description

    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.”

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

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

    Classification

    Prints , Posters

    Accession Number

    68.721

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • Yvette Guilbert--At the Ambassadeurs café concert

    1894

    Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, French (born in Switzerland),...

    Description

    One of the most famous celebrities of her day, Yvette Guilbert developed a signature style (slim gown and long black gloves) and a unique way of half-singing and half-speaking popular songs by Montmartre writers such as Aristide Bruant. She was a savvy self-promoter and commissioned her own publicity posters.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 185.7 x 79.7 cm (73 1/8 x 31 3/8 in.) Framed: 196.9 x 90.8 x 2.5 cm (77 1/2 x 35 3/4 x 1 in.)

    Medium

    Poster, color lithograph

    Classification

    Prints , Posters

    Accession Number

    62.927

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • The Pastry Shop

    1899

    Edouard Vuillard, French, 1868–1940

    Description

    The art dealer Ambroise Vollard commissioned a portfolio of color lithographs with the theme of landscapes and interiors from Vuillard, who was an active participant in Parisian avant-garde artistic circles and experimental theater.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 35.9 x 27.9 cm (14 1/8 x 11 in.) Sheet: 40.4 x 31.6 cm (15 7/8 x 12 7/16 in.)

    Medium

    Color lithograph

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    60.115

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • In the Street (Gigolots and Gigolettes)

    1895

    Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, French (born in Switzerland),...

    Description

    In the Street is a proof impression for the cover for an illustrated book of songs and monologues, written in popular slang by Aristide Bruant.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 21.6 x 27.6 cm (8 1/2 x 10 7/8 in.) Sheet: 33.7 x 35.8 cm (13 1/4 x 14 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Color Lithograph, proof

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    60.743

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • The Englishman at the Moulin Rouge

    1892

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864–1901

    Description

    The impact of Japanese woodblock prints on advanced art is evident here in the use of broad planes of color, bold silhouettes, and an unusual perspective on the figures: two dancers known as Rayon d'Or (Golden Ray) and La Sauterelle (The Grasshopper), who converse or flirt with Toulouse-Lautrec's friend, the English artist William Tom Warrener.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 47 x 37.2 cm (18 1/2 x 14 5/8 in.) Sheet: 62.2 x 48.5 cm (24 1/2 x 19 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Color lithograph printed in olive-green, aubergine, blue, red, yellow and black

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    60.746

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • The Clowness at the Moulin Rouge

    1897

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864–1901

    Description

    The female clown with the mock Chinese name Cha-u-ka-o (short for the dance chahut-chaos, a wild version of the cancan) walks arm in arm with a companion, Gabrielle-la-danseuse (Gabrielle the Dancer), at the Moulin Rouge.

    Lithography was invented in the late eighteenth century by Alois Senefelder, a German dramatist and actor, who hoped to find a cheaper method of reproducing his plays. The technique relies on the principal that grease attracts grease and water repels it. Artists and printmakers make designs with greasy crayons and inks on finely ground limestone slabs or on prepared metal plates. After a chemical process affixes the marks to the surface, the stone or plate is inked and then moistened. The wet areas repel the ink and the greasy marks attract it, becoming the areas which print when a sheet of paper is pressed against them. In color lithography, multiple stones are used to print the colors. The standard technique in Toulouse-Lautrec's day entailed the use of four stones, one for each of the primary colors and an additional stone for black. Secondary colors were created by superimposing one color atop another; blue over yellow, for example, would create green. Toulouse-Lautrec experimented with the juxtaposition of colors and the use of more stones, such that each color had its own stone. He also used a wide variety of techniques for the application of the greasy marks, using brushes and pens as well as crayons to apply lithographic ink, for example, or splattering lithographic ink across the surface to create a soft tonal effect.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 41 x 32.1 cm (16 1/8 x 12 5/8 in.) (trimmed)

    Medium

    Color lithograph

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    60.767

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • Loie Fuller

    1893

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864–1901

    Description

    The American dancer Loïe Fuller created a sensation in Paris in the 1890s with her highly inventive choreography, whipping about with wands voluminous draperies on a glass floor illuminated by colored electric lights. She became the very symbol of the Art Nouveau. Iridescence and billowing motion is conveyed differently in each impression of the print, as each was prepared with varied inkings of the lithographic stones and the application by hand of metallic powders.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 36.8 x 26.8 cm (14 1/2 x 10 9/16 in.) Sheet: 38 x 27.8 cm (14 15/16 x 10 15/16 in.)

    Medium

    Color lithograph, printed from four stones with gold and silver powder

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    2005.243

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • At the Café La Mie

    about 1891

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864–1901

    Description

    Lautrec based this painting on a staged photograph in which his friend Maurice Guibert played the role of a sleazy low-life type in the company of an unidentified woman. The practice of deriving paintings from photographs was one that Lautrec embraced starting in the 1880s. The painting’s title comes from "Un miché à la mie," 19th-century slang for a client who neglects to pay a prostitute for her services. Might this play on words have a bearing on the enigmatic relationship between these two figures?

    Details

    Dimensions

    53 x 67.9 cm (20 7/8 x 26 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    oil paint on millboard mounted on panel

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    40.748

    Collections

    Europe

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  • At the Ambassadeurs- Singer at the Café-concert

    1894

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864–1901

    Description

    The café concert, an upscale café offering musical entertainment, became a hit in the late nineteenth century. Often more elegantly decorated than cabarets, many café concerts-like the chic Ambassadeurs-were located on the Right Bank of Paris, along the wide boulevards developed in the 1860s and 1870s. Three important café concerts were to be found in Montmartre: the Divan Japonais (Japanese Sofa), Cigale (Cicada), and Décadents.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 29.8 x 24.4 cm (11 3/4 x 9 5/8 in.) Sheet: 54 x 39 cm (21 1/4 x 15 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Color lithograph printed in olive-green, yellow, beige-grey, salmon-pink, black and blue on wove paper

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    60.764

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • Stuffed Shirts (Les Plastrons)

    1900

    Pablo Picasso, Spanish (worked in France), 1881–1973

    Description

    Inspired by the café-concerts and music halls he visited during his second trip to Paris, here the young Picasso captured, in the vein of Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec, the spectacle of modern entertainment.

    Details

    Dimensions

    13.6 x 22.5 cm (5 3/8 x 8 7/8 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on panel

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    1970.475

    Collections

    Europe

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  • May Milton

    1895

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864–1901

    Description

    The British performer May Milton was known for her "pale, almost clownish face… reminiscent of a bulldog." She and the Irish singer May Belfort were friends and, possibly, lovers. The lettering of the poster was designed by the artist to harmonize with the image.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 78.6 x 59.7 cm (30 15/16 x 23 1/2 in.)

    Medium

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

    Classification

    Prints , Posters

    Accession Number

    39.810

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • Collection of the Chat Noir

    1898

    Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, French (born in Switzerland),...

    Description

    This poster advertises the sale of the collection of Rodolphe Salis, the owner of the Chat Noir, which opened in 1881 as the first cabaret in Paris. The artistic patrons of the Chat Noir and its irreverent performances of songs, plays, readings, and parades set the anything-goes tone for Montmartre. Its shadow theater, which combined colored lights, painted backgrounds, and sound effects with sophisticated cut-outs (emphasizing bold shapes and expressive silhouettes), was especially influential on the development of art in Toulouse-Lautrec's circle.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Framed: 155.3 x 117.2 x 4.8 cm (61 1/8 x 46 1/8 x 1 7/8 in.) Sheet: 139.4 x 99.1 cm (54 7/8 x 39 in.)

    Medium

    Poster, color lithograph printed in black and red

    Classification

    Prints , Posters

    Accession Number

    2002.62

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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