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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec "May Milton" Lithograph


Executed with a Degas-like sight-line and with a clear influence of the Japanese woodblock prints that so fascinated him, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created this incredible lithograph, composed of deep contrasts at the behest of the performer whose name appears on the print, "May Milton." A beautiful study in what can be achieved within a retrained palette, this print infuses the charming with the seductive, just as May Milton did in her performances at Le Moulin Rouge.


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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: ML-19933
Artist: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Country: France 
Circa: 1895 
Dimensions: 31.25" height, 24.25" width 
Materials: Lithograph paper, Giltwood gesso frame 
Provenance: Jean Efron Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1980 
Literature: The lithograph is pictured in Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris, by Helen Burnham, p. 78
Exhibition History: This particular lithograph was printed in color in 1895, Wittrock's B of C, on linen-backed wove paper, printed by Ancourt, and commissioned by May Milton, in Paris; This lithograph was on display at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, in the exhibition, Toulouse-Lautrec: The Guardsmark Collection, from September to October, 1989

"Short on looks and talent," May Milton was so derided by critics that she left Montmartre after only one season on the stage and fled to New York, where she was never heard of as a performer again. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, unlike others, saw a spark in Milton and agreed to this commissioned portrait of her which immortalized her and provided perhaps the only lasting evidence of her time as a performer at Le Moulin Rouge.