Jane Avril

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec French
Sitter Jane Avril French

Not on view

Lautrec’s graphic posters—for performers, like Jane Avril, or dance halls, like the Moulin Rouge—embody the ebullient, frenetic spirit of the nightlife in fin-de-siècle Paris. Avril, a lifelong friend of the artist, commissioned this print to advertise her cabaret show at the Jardin de Paris in 1893. Lautrec’s bold composition is characterized by a radically skewed perspective, severe cropping, flattened forms, and sinuous lines—such as those describing Avril’s frilly costume. The “cancan” kick of Avril’s leg, one of her signature dance moves, finds a formal echo in the vertical thrust of the double-bass, gripped by an unseen musician. To create this print, Lautrec used several lithographic stones, one for each color—inky black, acidic orange, yellow, and green.

Jane Avril, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, Albi 1864–1901 Saint-André-du-Bois), Lithograph printed in five colors; machine wove paper

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