Note: Matte: 13.18" W x 17.4"H
Woman in black dress and hat in yellow chair. Man with yellow hair and cane beside her. Adhered to matboard. Published by "Les Maitres de L'Affiche", 1896
Commissioned by Edouard Fournier, owner of the short-lived Montmartre night club Divan Japonais, this enigmatic poster typifies many of the stylistic changes that occurred in French art in the 1890s. Using bright colors and a jarring Japanese perspective, Toulouse-Lautrec presents a scene of both great vibrancy and subtle intrigue.
In the foreground, looming large, sits the famous dancer Jane Avril accompanied by the critic Eduoard Dujardin, founder of the Revue Wagnerienne and a theoretician of symbolist art. The two sit companionably side by side with slight, knowing smiles on their lips as they observe the performance of another of Montmartre's legends, the chanteuse Yvette Guilbert who is distinguished by her trademark full-length black gloves. In portraying her, Toulouse-Lautrec has cut off her head with the edge of the paper, a brilliant compositional decision.
Toulouse-Lautrec was a master of such succinct characterizations and yet for all his lampooning, he was sought after by many of the performers of his day; to be depicted by him was a great honor. Both Guilbert and Avril were frequent subjects, as were Aristide Bruant and May Belfor
Credit to Cornell University