Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864 - 1901) After: Woman Combing Her Hair (Femme qui se peigne, La coiffure) from Elles. Offset Lithograph on Arches paper, stamped twice with the artist's signature and initials, numbered (114/270), unframed.
Women are the focus of the portfolio Elles, one of Lautrec's greatest achievements in lithography. This series of carefully observed brothel scenes thwarts the expectation of the titillating or the tawdry, instead presenting quiet moments of mundane intimacy between a lesbian couple, possibly the Moulin Rouge clown Cha-U-Kao and her partner Gabrielle, who both appear in other works by Lautrec. Likely inspired by an eighteenth-century Japanese precedent, Elles proved to be a commercial failure for its publisher Gustave Pellet, who specialized in erotica because it delivered not an exotic fantasy, but rather an intimate portrayal of women Lautrec knew firsthand and the milieu in which they lived and worked.
29.5 x 21.25 inches with margins; 24 x 18.25 inches plate.
Private collection Rhode Island.
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