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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec "Elles" Lithograph


This French Art Nouveau lithograph, "Elles" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, heavily focuses on women for the portfolio of "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 young couple, possibly the Moulin Rouge female "clown" Cha-U-Kao and her partner Gabrielle, who both appear in other works by Lautrec.


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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: YML-19641
Artist: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Circa: 1896
Dimensions: 25.5" height, 20" width (framed)
Materials: Lithograph paper, Giltwood gesso frame

Likely inspired by an 18th 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 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec knew firsthand, and the milieu in which they lived and worked.