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Woman in the Garden of Monsieur Forest

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, Albi 1864–1901 Saint-André-du-Bois)

Date:
1889–91
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
21 7/8 x 18 1/4 in. (55.6 x 46.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Joan Whitney Payson, 1975
Accession Number:
1976.201.15
  • Gallery Label

    From 1889 to 1891, Lautrec experimented with the plein-air approach of the Impressionists, producing a group of studies showing figures set against the foliage in the garden of Monsieur (Père) Forest, his neighbor in the Paris district of Montmartre. Lautrec referred to these self-imposed exercises in technique as "impositions," for which friends as well as models posed. The clothes and hairstyle of this sitter suggest that she is a working-class woman.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower left): HTLautrec [HTL in monogram]

  • Provenance

    Eugène-Guillaume Boch, Paris (bought from the artist; until d. 1941); private collection (bought from the Boch estate; sold to Brame); [Hector Brame, Paris, until 1951; sold on May 2 for $42,000 to Payson]; Mrs. Charles Shipman (Joan Whitney) Payson, New York and Manhasset (1951–d. 1975)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "Toulouse-Lautrec," May ?–August 8, 1951, no. 22 (as "Tête de femme dans le jardin de M. Forest," lent by Mrs. Charles S. Payson, New York).

    Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Toulouse-Lautrec," October 29–December 11, 1955, no. 18 (lent by Mrs. Charles S. Payson).

    Art Institute of Chicago. "Toulouse-Lautrec," January 2–February 15, 1956, no. 18 (lent by Mrs. Charles S. Payson).

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Toulouse-Lautrec: Paintings, Drawings, Posters, and Lithographs," March 20–May 6, 1956, no. 11 (lent by Mrs. Charles S. Payson, New York).

    Art Institute of Chicago. "Toulouse-Lautrec: Paintings," October 4–December 2, 1979, no. 40.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Toulouse-Lautrec in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," July 2–September 29, 1996, unnumbered cat. (fig. 28).

    Denver Art Museum. "Toulouse-Lautrec from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," July 15–October 15, 1999, no catalogue.

    Rome. Complesso del Vittoriano. "Toulouse-Lautrec: Uno sguardo dentro la vita," October 11, 2003–February 8, 2004, no. I.13 (as "Tête de femme dans le jardin de Monsieur Forest").

    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 115.

    Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19.Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.

    Landesgalerie Linz. "Toulouse-Lautrec — Der intime Blick," February 28–June 7, 2009, unnumbered cat. (p. 79; as "Frau im Garten von M. Forest, in Halbfigur").

    Canberra. National Gallery of Australia. "Toulouse-Lautrec. Paris & The Moulin Rouge," December 14, 2012–April 2, 2013, unnumbered cat. (ill. p. 63).

  • References

    Gustave Coquiot. Lautrec, ou quinze ans de mœurs parisiennes, 1885–1900. Paris, 1921, ill. opp. p. 112, calls it "Fille".

    Maurice Joyant. "Peintre." Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864–1901. 1, Paris, 1926, p. 268, ill. p. 111, calls it "Tête de femme dans le jardin de M. Forest" and dates it 1889.

    Maurice Joyant. "Dessins - estampes - affiches." Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864–1901. 2, Paris, 1927, p. 16.

    Paul de Lapparent. Toulouse-Lautrec. Paris, 1927, p. 21, pl. 5 [English ed., London, 1928, p. 23, pl. 5], locates Monsieur Forest's garden on the rue Caulaincourt and states that the portraits set there were not executed in the open air.

    Gotthard Jedlicka. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Berlin, 1929, ill. p. 57.

    Jacques Lassaigne. Toulouse-Lautrec. London, 1939, ill. p. 55, calls it "Half-Length Portrait of a Woman".

    Leonardo Borgese. Toulouse-Lautrec. Milan, 1945, pl. VIII.

    "Toulouse Lautrec." Art et style no. 19 (1951), unpaginated, ill., as "Tête de femme dans le jardin de Monsieur Forest," in a private collection.

    Jean Adhémar in T-Lautrec. Paris, 1952, p. 117, no. 19, fig. 19, notes that although Lautrec painted several models out of doors during the years 1889–91, there is no difference in their depiction of light from portraits created in his studio.

    M.-G. Dortu. Toulouse Lautrec. Paris, 1952, fig. 13, calls it "Femme assise dans le jardin de M. Forest".

    Claude Roger-Marx. "Lautrec visionnaire de la réalité." Toulouse-Lautrec. [Paris], 1962, p. 125, ill. (cropped).

    André Fermigier. Toulouse-Lautrec. New York, 1969, pl. 55, calls it "Half-length Portrait of Woman in Père Forest's Garden"; dates this series of portraits between 1888 and 1891, commenting that in them the artist "seems ill at ease with his models' background of foliage".

    M. G. Dortu. Toulouse-Lautrec et son œuvre. New York, 1971, vol. 2, pp. 172–73, no. P.344, ill., calls it "Tête de femme dans le jardin de M. Forest" and dates it 1889.

    G. M. Sugana in The Complete Paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec. London, 1973, p. 102, no. 237, ill.

    Naomi E. Maurer in Toulouse-Lautrec: Paintings. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 1979, pp. 152–53, no. 40, ill., calls it "Tête de femme dans le jardin de M. Forest (Woman in the Garden of Mr. Forest)" and dates it 1889; notes that Lautrec preferred red-haired models.

    Charles S. Moffett in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1975–1979. New York, 1979, p. 54, ill., as "Woman in the Garden of Monsieur (Père) Forest"; calls it an "unfinished but sensitively rendered portrait" of an unknown woman; remarks that the so-called garden of Monsieur Forest was actually a public park at the corner of the boulevard de Clichy and the rue Caulaincourt, where Lautrec posed many friends and models between 1888 and 1891; calls it an example of Lautrec's "impositions," rapidly executed exercises he assigned himself to develop his technique and try new ideas, which may have been inspired by the portraits of Degas.

    Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 11, 234, ill. p. 235 (color), remarks that the sitter, like most of Lautrec's models, is red-haired and working class; identifies the setting as Monsieur Forest's private garden.

    Gilles Néret. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864–1901. New York, 1995, p. 198, ill. p. 44 (color) [German ed., 1994], calls it "Woman in Monsieur Forest's Garden"; notes that the garden was owned by Père Forest and open to the public.

    Colta Ives. Toulouse-Lautrec in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, p. 61, fig. 28 (color), dates the series of portraits in Père Forest's garden between 1889 and 1891.

    Richard Thomson in Theo van Gogh: Marchand de tableaux, collectionneur, frère de Vincent. Exh. cat., Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Paris, 1999, p. 139, fig. 139 (color), calls it "Femme en mauve dans le jardin du père Forest" and dates it about 1887–88; tentatively identifies it with a work listed in the Boussod Valadon stockbook as "Étude de tête," which was sold for Fr 350 to Dupuis [but see Ex-Colls].

    Eugenia Querci in Toulouse-Lautrec: Uno sguardo dentro la vita. Exh. cat., Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome. Milan, 2003, pp. 132–33, no. I.13, ill. (color), dates it about 1889.

    Richard R. Brettell and Stephen F. Eisenman. Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum. 1, New Haven, 2006, p. 461, fig. 123b, date it 1889–91.

    Kathryn Calley Galitz in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 184, 308, no. 171, ill. (color and black and white).

    Kathryn Calley Galitz in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 155, 259, no. 115, ill. (color and black and white), notes that the garden of Monsieur Forest was actually a public park.



  • Notes

    Between 1889 and 1891, Lautrec painted a series of portraits in this park situated on the corner of the boulevard de Clichy and the rue Caulaincourt in Montmartre, near the artist's studio (see also MMA 2003.20.13).

  • See also
437838

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