By Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, (1864-1901)
10 1/2 in x 14 1/2 in
"For his friend and great Montmartre chansonnier, Aristide Bruant, Lautrec made several posters. Bruant was a strong, forceful, in many ways vulgar entertainer of intimate cabarets, the kind of places where fashionable society went 'slumming' for thrills. Lautrec catches the brutal quality and the disdain with which he treated his audiences. This design is one of the most imposing poster images of all time. The singer dominates the poster with as much authority as he commanded on stage, the red scarf forming an exclamation point. The thrust and power are achieved by fine draftsmanship, excellent colors, and bold composition" (Rennert PAI-XXI 433,436)
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 Bourgerie&Co., St Demis, 1883, Number VI.
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.