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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec "Jane Avril" Lithograph


Aptly titled "Jane Avril," celebrated lithograph artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec captures here, in static form, the very particular brand of motion Avril famously employed in her well attended dances at Le Moulin Rouge. Avril suffered from a rare neurological disorder then commonly known as "St. Vitus Dance" as a child and, unusually, it continued to affect her as an adult. The woman who would go on to become one of the most famous Moulin Rouge performers of all time credited dance as her means of controlling and overcoming the uncontrollable movements the disorder resulted in. Toulouse-Lautrec, in his hallmark concise manner of capturing great allure, here conveys the strength and beauty of Avril's dance as well as the the strength and beauty of the dancer herself, who was considered by the artist as a great friend.


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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: ML-19930 
Artist: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 
Country: France 
Circa: 1896 
Dimensions: 21.75" height, 14.5" width 
Materials: Lithograph paper, Giltwood gesso frame
Literature: Lithograph pictured in Art Nouveau, The French Aesthetic, by Victor Arwas, p. 175; Lithograph also pictured in Posters of the Belle Epoque, The Wine Spectator Collection, by Jack Rennert, p. 49, fig. 43
Exhibition History: Lithograph featured in the National Museum Stockholm exhibition, “Toulouse-Lautrec," from December 26, 1967 to March 3, 1968 (catalogue 317, no. 196); Lithograph also pictured in Merete Bodelsen's “Lautrecs plakater," Louisiana Revy, Vol 8, no 5, March 1968 (illustrated in color, Wittrock p. 29, Adriani p. 354, Delteil 367/II)

The second to last poster that he created in his lifetime, "Jane Avril" was created by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec while he was committed in one of what were then known as sanatoriums, or insane asylums. Avril commissioned the piece partly as an act of kindness to Toulouse-Lautrec, who she considered a great friend.