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    Sale 2133 | Lot 145
    Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
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    • Sale 2133 Lot 145

      HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901) ELLES. 1896.
      23 3/8x17 7/8 inches.
      Condition B / B+: restored upper right corner; minor restoration in image; tape staining. Matted and framed.
      "Lautrec's series Elles [Those Women] (consisting of ten sheets with a frontispiece and cover) is one of the high-points of nineteenth-century art." (Adriani p. 222). The portfolio represents the culmination of the artist's time spent in Parisian brothels. The series, based on the prostitutes of Montmartre, is a portrayal of daily life, depicting the mundane and quiet, even private moments of these women in a very "public" profession. Lautrec wholeheartedly sympathized and related to the French demimonde and these humble, intimate images did not flaunt the sexuality of their subjects. They are an extraordinarily sensitive treatment of a subject generally considered to be taboo. Gustave Pellet, the "intrepid publisher" (as Lautrec referred to him) had the courage to print 100 of these portfolios. The cover and frontispiece of the folio bore this image, and when, in 1896 the 10 images were exhibited in the offices of Le Plume magazine, this image, with the addition of the text (not of Lautrec's design), was re-used as a poster. The series was a commercial failure, and did not even capture the public's interest a year later when Ambrose Vollard attempted to sell them in his gallery. In this image we see a woman either dressing or undressing, the man's "top hat and erotic accessories . . . recall the moral habits of the 18th century" (ibid.). Adirani 171 fourth state, Delteil 179, Wittrock 155 III.
      Estimate $10,000-15,000