Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC | Greeting the public [Saluant le public]

Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
artist France 1864 – 1901

Greeting the public [Saluant le public] Yvette Guilbert 1898 planographic , crayon lithograph with scraper, printed in black with beige tint stone on cream, wove paper
49.5 (h) x 38.0 (w) cm
?/350 , First edition
Reference: Wittrock 279 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra NGA 2011.830.8 The Poynton Bequest 2011

Yvette Guilbert was one of Lautrec’s favourite singers – a distinctive performer who half sang and half spoke the songs of the Parisian demi-monde. Like Lautrec, the critic Gustave Geffroy was captivated by Guilbert:  

She pronounces, she articulates, she sends the words out to every part of the hall or across the garden of the Champs-Elysées, she pierces the clouds of tobacco smoke, the vapours of alcohol, and the smog of human breath. Each syllable comes to us like an arrow shot from throat, teeth, and tongue, borne on a wave of clear, transparent sound, at once firm and frail, like a vibrating crystal.

Guilbert recognised the value of self-promotion through image and thus her long association with Lautrec benefited both. Here, she appears as a white faced phantom with her unusual angular face and painfully thin body, wearing her signature long black gloves.

Yvette Guilbert was one of Lautrec’s favourite singers – a distinctive performer who half sang and half spoke the songs of the Parisian demi-monde. Like Lautrec, the critic Gustave Geffroy was captivated by Guilbert:  

She pronounces, she articulates, she sends the words out to every part of the hall or across the garden of the Champs-Elysées, she pierces the clouds of tobacco smoke, the vapours of alcohol, and the smog of human breath. Each syllable comes to us like an arrow shot from throat, teeth, and tongue, borne on a wave of clear, transparent sound, at once firm and frail, like a vibrating crystal.

Guilbert recognised the value of self-promotion through image and thus her long association with Lautrec benefited both. Here, she appears as a white faced phantom with her unusual angular face and painfully thin body, wearing her signature long black gloves.

Yvette Guilbert was one of Lautrec’s favourite singers – a distinctive performer who half sang and half spoke the songs of the Parisian demi-monde. Like Lautrec, the critic Gustave Geffroy was captivated by Guilbert:  

She pronounces, she articulates, she sends the words out to every part of the hall or across the garden of the Champs-Elysées, she pierces the clouds of tobacco smoke, the vapours of alcohol, and the smog of human breath. Each syllable comes to us like an arrow shot from throat, teeth, and tongue, borne on a wave of clear, transparent sound, at once firm and frail, like a vibrating crystal.

Guilbert recognised the value of self-promotion through image and thus her long association with Lautrec benefited both. Here, she appears as a white faced phantom with her unusual angular face and painfully thin body, wearing her signature long black gloves.




Image detail: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec La Goulue entering the Moulin Rouge [La Goulue entrant au Moulin Rouge] 1892
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Gift of Mrs David M. Levy