Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec ( French, 1864 - 1901 )
Jane Avril, one of the stars of the Moulin Rouge in the 1890s, was famous for her frenetic and sensual style of dancing. Adopting an English stage name, she cultivated a distinct public persona that traded on a combination of cool detachment and exotic allure. Her close friend Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec emphasized these characteristics in a series of publicity posters that, according to Avril, launched her career. Using methods of caricature, he reduced the dancer to her most recognizable traits. Here he underscores her lithe silhouette and animated movements through her sinuous pose and snake-emblazoned dress.