By Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, (1864-1901)
10 1/2 in x 14 1/2 in
"This design advertised the fortnightly 'La Revue Blanche' avant-garde artistic and literary periodical that was founded in Belgium in 1889 by the Natanson brothers and moved to Paris when they did. There, they were among the first to recognize Toulouse-Lautrec's unconventional genius, and freely published his drawings in the magazine. They also became friends socially, and the artist became a frequent participant in the intimate gatherings at the home of one of the brothers, Thadee Natanson, whose wife Misa enjoyed the company of stimulating intellectuals, artists, and writers. It is Misa we see in this poster, and her rather unusual stance is explained by the fact that she is actually on skates. As one of the movers and shakers among the literary set, Misia was the most emancipated women of her generation. Toulouse-Lautrec, who could be mercilessly scathing, pays her homage with an entirely sympathetic portrayal" (Gold p. 68)
This version is from "Das Moderne Plakat " the German publication included 52 color plates by the great poster artist's of the day. Printed by Edw. Ancourt, Paris, 1883, Number XVII.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec came from an aristocratic background, born the son of an earl. Even as a schoolboy he showed a talent for drawing. By 14 he had suffered two horse back riding accidents, combined with a serious bone disease which eventually left him crippled for life. His body continued to grow but not his legs, he would remain only five feet tall and suffer pain and embarrassment his entire life. At 18 Lautrec moved to Montmartre in Paris to study art. He worked with artists Emile Bernard, Degas, Van Gogh and others. He became a frequenter of the cafes, cabarets and brothels of the neighborhood, drawing from them inspirations for his artistic themes.