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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Lithograph in colors on two sheets on wove paper, laid on linen, published/printed by Bourgerie & Cie/Ancourt, Paris, with margins, framed.
52 1/2 x 35 3/5in (133.3 x 90.4cm)
sheet 54 1/4 x 37 7/8in (137.7 x 96.2cm)
Aristide Bruant (1851-1923) was a dashing and flamboyant figure in the Montmartre cabaret circuit. As early as 1886 he recognized Lautrec's talent and the artist made more posters of him than anyone else. In 1892, Bruant was premiering his new act at the Ambassadeurs club in the center of Paris and commissioned Lautrec to create a poster. The club's management was horrified by the result and the manager Pierre Ducarre called it a "revolting mess" refusing to pay for it. Bruant, who thought the poster was a masterpiece, refused to appear on stage unless the poster was displayed on the stage and in the streets. Bruant prevailed and the poster was plastered all over Paris bringing both the artist and the singer acclaim and a certain notoriety in some circles. With his signature hat and red scarf, Bruant appears as an imposing and fashionable figure in Lautrec's memorable portrait.
The lithograph was printed in two parts and joined across the middle, so the colors of the top and bottom halves are never exactly the same. This colors of this impression are fresh and vibrant, and are, for the most part, original, which is exceptional in a poster of this size.
Colletti Gallery, Chicago
Private Collection, Cleveland