Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC | La Goulue

Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
artist France 1864 – 1901

La Goulue 1894 planographic , brush, crayon and spatter lithograph with scraper, printed in one colour on paper mounted on board
35.0 (h) x 25.6 (w) cm , 1st state before letters
signed lower left, printed from the stone in black ink, 'HTL' monogram. not dated. stamped lower left, in red ink, 'HTL' monogram.
Reference: Wittrock 65 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra NGA 1972.509.115 Felix Man Collection, Special Government Grant 1972

Lautrec developed a deft range of lithographic techniques including brush and crayon lithography, spattering and using a scraper to provide tone, depth and a sense of texture. Here he has outlined the figures by applying tusche with a brush, which provides a great sense of movement as they sway around the dance floor. Lautrec has also included a tiny portrait of a member of the audience, rendered using tusche in crayon form. The scraping technique had been employed by Honoré Daumier to highlight the light or white parts of his caricatures to contrast with the deeper blacks. Lautrec has also used a scraper to vary the tones of his composition.

One of Lautrec’s favourite performers, La Goulue, is dancing with her partner Valentin le Désossé. She wears a gown with a plunging neckline, a design she favoured for both the back and the front, thus flaunting her buxom appearance. Her characteristic chignon is piled high on her head, shown in profile. La Goulue thrusts her hips into her partner’s body, while he maintains a formal air, evident in his expressionless, ugly profile, with pointed nose and jutting chin. Lautrec’s friend Maurice Joyant observed the couple were ‘inseparable’ as dancers who presented an astonishing ‘balanced whirling gracefulness’ – so evident in this composition.[1]

After the initial edition of 50 was made in either black or olive green, the image was transferred to a larger stone, which became the cover for the sheet music for piano for a waltz by A. Bosc, composed in the same year.

JK

[1] Maurice Joyant, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864-1901: Peintre, Paris: H. Floury, 1926, vol. 1, p. 82.

Lautrec developed a deft range of lithographic techniques including brush and crayon lithography, spattering and using a scraper to provide tone, depth and a sense of texture. Here he has outlined the figures by applying tusche with a brush, which provides a great sense of movement as they sway around the dance floor. Lautrec has also included a tiny portrait of a member of the audience, rendered using tusche in crayon form. The scraping technique had been employed by Honoré Daumier to highlight the light or white parts of his caricatures to contrast with the deeper blacks. Lautrec has also used a scraper to vary the tones of his composition.

One of Lautrec’s favourite performers, La Goulue, is dancing with her partner Valentin le Désossé. She wears a gown with a plunging neckline, a design she favoured for both the back and the front, thus flaunting her buxom appearance. Her characteristic chignon is piled high on her head, shown in profile. La Goulue thrusts her hips into her partner’s body, while he maintains a formal air, evident in his expressionless, ugly profile, with pointed nose and jutting chin. Lautrec’s friend Maurice Joyant observed the couple were ‘inseparable’ as dancers who presented an astonishing ‘balanced whirling gracefulness’ – so evident in this composition.[1]

After the initial edition of 50 was made in either black or olive green, the image was transferred to a larger stone, which became the cover for the sheet music for piano for a waltz by A. Bosc, composed in the same year.

JK

[1] Maurice Joyant, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864-1901: Peintre, Paris: H. Floury, 1926, vol. 1, p. 82.

Lautrec developed a deft range of lithographic techniques including brush and crayon lithography, spattering and using a scraper to provide tone, depth and a sense of texture. Here he has outlined the figures by applying tusche with a brush, which provides a great sense of movement as they sway around the dance floor. Lautrec has also included a tiny portrait of a member of the audience, rendered using tusche in crayon form. The scraping technique had been employed by Honoré Daumier to highlight the light or white parts of his caricatures to contrast with the deeper blacks. Lautrec has also used a scraper to vary the tones of his composition.

One of Lautrec’s favourite performers, La Goulue, is dancing with her partner Valentin le Désossé. She wears a gown with a plunging neckline, a design she favoured for both the back and the front, thus flaunting her buxom appearance. Her characteristic chignon is piled high on her head, shown in profile. La Goulue thrusts her hips into her partner’s body, while he maintains a formal air, evident in his expressionless, ugly profile, with pointed nose and jutting chin. Lautrec’s friend Maurice Joyant observed the couple were ‘inseparable’ as dancers who presented an astonishing ‘balanced whirling gracefulness’ – so evident in this composition.[1]

After the initial edition of 50 was made in either black or olive green, the image was transferred to a larger stone, which became the cover for the sheet music for piano for a waltz by A. Bosc, composed in the same year.

JK

[1] Maurice Joyant, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864-1901: Peintre, Paris: H. Floury, 1926, vol. 1, p. 82.




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