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Price Realized: $36,000 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
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Sale 2133 Lot 147
HENRI TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901) JANE AVRIL 1893.
50x37 inches. Chaix, Paris.
Condition B / B+: restored loss in upper right corner; restoration in lower right corner; repaired tears and minor restored losses in margins and image. All restoration visible.
Laturec first met Jane Avril during a performance at the Moulin Rouge in the early 1890s. Amongst all of the dancers there she was intelligent and passionate about art and culture. Although his love for her was never physically consummated, they did become friends, and she often appeared in his paintings and drawings. As an indication of how the two of them would go around Paris together, she appears prominently in two of his major posters, the Divan Japonais and L'Estampe Moderne where she is pictured at the Ancourt printing studio. He also designed three posters promoting her act, this one being the first. In his poster for the Divan Japonais Lautrec shows a view of a performer on stage over the orchestra pit. Here he shows the view of the performer from the orchestra pit, keeping the same dramatic diagonal that he used previously, with the slats of the stage and the sets in the wings in exaggerated perspective. "The poster offers a fascination contrast of open and shut, public and private: Avril wears an impassive expression, her eyes closed in concentration, giving the viewer no entreé into her private thoughts; yet she contorts her lower body to display her long, black-stockinged legs and colorful skirts. The looming presence of a musician at the lower right, his hairy hand gripping the neck of the contrabass, suggests the sexual nature of this dance, but Avril seems aloof from licentious overtones" (Montmartre p. 139). In 1896 Maindron wrote, in Les Affiches Illustres, that Jane Avril looks incredibly sad, and must be dancing solely for the viewer's pleasure. Yet in her autobiography she mentions that she loved dancing, but that she could never smile, as she was too deeply focussed on her performance (Jane Avril p. 114). It is this little, intimate detail that Lautrec so perfectly captures. The poster appeared on the walls of Paris on June 3, 1893, with text that the printer hastily added announcing her performance at the "Jardin de Paris." This early copy of the poster was saved from this overprinting. Adriani 11, DFP II 828, Maitres 110 (var), Wine Spectator 41, Maitres 1900 p. 49 (var).
Estimate $40,000-60,000Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $36,000