JANE AVRIL – JARDIN DE PARIS

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
JANE AVRIL – JARDIN DE PARIS
lithograph
March 1898

March 1898

Original lithograph printed in colors on wove paper.

Signed and dated on the stone lower right T-Lautrec / 93. 

A superb impression of the definitive state, from the edition on this paper (there was also a small edition on Japan paper).  Transcribed from Toulouse-Lautrec’s 1893 poster of the same title by artisans at Atelier Chéret and issued as plate 110 (of 256) in the series Le Maîtres de l’Affiche, bearing the blindstamp of the program (Lugt 1777c) in the sheet lower right.  Published by Jules Chéret; printed at Impremiere Chaix (Atelier Chéret), Paris.

Catalog: Masters of the Poster pl. 110.

Commissioned by the Jardin de Paris to mark the debut there of Jane Avril, this poster must be counted among Toulouse-Lautrec’s most daring designs.  Its relation to the compositional scheme of Lautrec’s very first poster, the “Moulin Rouge – La Goulue” (Delteil 339, Wittrock P1) is apparent in the looming heads of the musician and contrabass which hold a position on the picture plane similar to the silhouette of Valentin Le Désossé.  But here Lautrec condensed the scenic expanse of the earlier poster into a graphically soldered unit.  With no pretense at rational explanation, he pulled each end of the fiddle head into a cartoon-like “thought bubble” that encapsulates the dancer within its musical cell.  It serves as an attention-grabber and also accompanies the rhythms of Jane’s solo, repeating the shape of her skirts and relating her kicks to the musical source.  Lautrec even added a mimicking choreographic flourish to the clef mark.

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