Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Woman with Hand Mirror (Femme à glace, la glace à main) from Elles. 1896

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Woman with Hand Mirror (Femme à glace, la glace à main) from Elles

1896

Medium
One from a portfolio of twelve lithographs
Dimensions
composition and sheet: 20 3/8 x 15 11/16" (51.7 x 39.8 cm)
Publisher
Éditions Pellet, Paris
Printer
probably Auguste Clot, Paris
Edition
100
Credit
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Object number
170.1946.8
Portfolio
Elles
Department
Drawings and Prints
This work is not on view.
This work is part of a portfolio with 11 other works online.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec has 143 works  online.
There are 21,549 prints online.

Women are the focus of the portfolio 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 lesbian couple, possibly the Moulin Rouge clown Cha-U-Kao and her partner Gabrielle, who both appear in other works by Lautrec. Likely inspired by an eighteenth-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 Lautrec knew firsthand and the milieu in which they lived and worked.

Gallery label from The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters, July 26, 2014–March 22, 2015

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