MoMA
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. La Goulue at the Moulin Rouge. (1891-92)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

La Goulue at the Moulin Rouge

(1891-92)
Not on view
Medium
Oil on board
Dimensions
31 1/4 x 23 1/4" (79.4 x 59.0 cm)
Credit
Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy
Object number
161.1957

Louise Weber, nicknamed La Goulue (the glutton), is depicted in the Moulin Rouge—a Montmartre cabaret frequented by the Parisian demimonde—flanked by her sister to her right and, to her left, her lover. Toulouse-Lautrec made many paintings of Weber, a star performer known for her appetite. Throughout his work he portrayed unconventional individuals in an audacious manner both frank and sympathetic. The shallow space, bold cropping, and heavy, form-flattening outlines reflect the pictorial devices of Japanese woodblock prints and the work of Edgar Degas, which Toulouse–Lautrec greatly admired. The artist considered this work to be the best of his dance-hall paintings and exhibited it four times the year it was completed.

Gallery label from 2008
Additional text

La Goulue (The Glutton), born Louise Weber, was an ambitious country laundress who became famous dancing the cancan. Nicknamed for her insatiable appetite for both life and food, she aggressively courted fame, dancing in transparent muslin knickers, posing topless in publicity photos, and cultivating a reputation for bawdiness. Her costume consisted of a low-cut gown, a much-copied hairstyle, and a black ribbon choker. Her look was so distinctive that in Lautrec’s most famous images of her, he did not even need to show her from the front. These images reveal his debt to Japanese ukiyo-e woodcuts, in which subjects are often identified by gestures, hairstyles, or accessories rather than a traditional likeness.

Gallery label from The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters, July 26, 2014–March 22, 2015
Provenance information
Madame Holzer, Paris [1]; acquired by M. Julien, Paris [2]; acquired by Josse Bernheim-Jeune (1870-1941) and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune [Gaston de Villers] (1870-1953), Paris, by 1919 until at least 1939 [3]; sold to Knoedler & Co., New York; sold to Adele R. and David M. Levy, New York, by June 10, 1940 [4]; acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1957 (Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy).
[1] See exh. cat. Renoir, Cézanne and their contemporaries, Alex. Reid & Lefevre, London, June 1934 (no. 37): "Collections: Madame Holzer, Paris; M. Julien, Paris; Gaston Bernheim de Villers, Paris."
[2] Ibid.
[3] Henri de Régnier, L'art moderne et quelques aspects de l'art d'autrefois; cent-soixante-treize planches d'après la collection privée de MM. J. & G. Bernheim-Jeune, Paris: Bernheim-Jeune, 1919, vol. 2, pl. 160. Included in the exhibition La Pintura Francesa de David a nuestros días, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, July-August 1939 (no. 134). Lender: Gaston Bernheim-Jeune.
[4] Included in the loan exhibition Allied Art for Allied Aid: for the Benefit of the Red Cross War Relief Fund, Knoedler Galleries, June 10-June 29, 1940 (no. 17): "La Goulue, Lent by Dr. and Mrs. David M. Levy."

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource