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

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

La Goulue at the Moulin Rouge


Oil on board
31 1/4 x 23 1/4" (79.4 x 59.0 cm)
Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy
Object number
Drawings and Prints
This work is not on view.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec has 143 works  online.
There are 14,913 drawings online.

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

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

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
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."

If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please email provenance@moma.org or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

If you would like to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA, please contact Scala Archives (all geographic locations) at firenze@scalarchives.com.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.