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Sale 2435 Lot 74
HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901) [ARISTIDE BRUANT DANS SON CABARET.] 1893.
53x38 inches, 134 1/2x96 1/2 cm. Charles Verneau, Paris.
Condition B: overpainting along vertical and horizontal folds, affecting central image; repaired tears, creases and abrasions at edges, in image and along folds; slight fading in image. Mounted to board. Framed.
Bruant was one of Lautrec's earliest supporters. One year after Lautrec designed his first poster for the Moulin Rouge, Bruant recognized the potential that such potent artwork could have for his own career. He "appreciated the sensation it had caused and recognized it as a watershed in marketing a personality and the experience of Montmartre" (Montmartre p. 92). The success of their first work (which Bruant had to force on the manager of the Ambassadeurs as he considered it too vulgar) led to many more commissions. This is Lautrec's third poster for the performer. It is "his sparest design for Bruant, with the performer turning his back to the viewer and glancing over his left shoulder, to reveal his face in profile. Now reduced to a few elemental shapes, this forceful hieroglyph served as Bruant's logo in a variety of formats" (ibid p. 93). The broad strokes, flat colors, detailed representation of the singer's face, and the implied arrogance of the performer who would turn his back on his public all served to make this an iconic image. The poster originally appeared without text; when the second edition with text was printed ("Aristide Bruant dans son Cabaret,") it was done so by a different printer, Edward Ancourt. Delteil 348, Adriani 12 I, Wittrock P9A, DFP-II 827 (var), Wine Spectator 48 (var), Abdy p. 79 (var).
Estimate $20,000 - 30,000