Le Divan Japonais


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

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General Description

This lithograph by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is an advertisement for Le Divan Japonais, one the many café-concerts that sprung up in the Montmartre quarter of Paris during the second half of the 19th century. A master of poster art, Toulouse-Lautrec developed a modern visual language based on cut-off angles, unusual perspectives, and flat areas of solid color. With posters like this, he contributed to the rise of a veritable celebrity culture surrounding Montmartre’s working-class performers, many of whom were the artist’s close friends. Cutting a bold silhouette in the center is Jane Avril, a star dancer at the Moulin Rouge, presented here as a spectator in the audience. To her right is the art critic and dandy Édouard Dujardin; in the background, Yvette Guilbert sings onstage. Although her face is cropped, she is identifiable thanks to her trademark black gloves and elongated physique.

Excerpt from

Nicole Myers, DMA label copy, 2017.

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