Auction Roundup with Jack Rennert

Every auction I walk around the gallery with Jack Rennert to discuss his favorite items in the upcoming sale. Below you’ll find some highlights as well as interesting insights from the man responsible for starting the Poster Craze in America.

Posterette: To cut straight to the point, what do you think are some of the stars of the September 21 auction?

Jack Rennert: Well, one always focuses of course on Toulouse-Lautrec and Mucha and Cassandre – and they’re the stars of any show we do; but, I’m looking right now, for instance, at Savignac. His early works are really very hard to find, and when he went to the United States he was commissioned to do some posters for LIFE magazine. The posters themselves are entirely unavailable – they’re quite rare. And what we have here are even rarer than that: we’ve got the maquettes, the original drawings for the series. So we have some of the rarest works of one of the top 20th century French posterists.

Featuring Cappiello's "Kub," Loupot's "Valentine," and a selection of Savignac maquettes

Featuring Cappiello’s “Kub,” Loupot’s “Valentine,” and a selection of Savignac maquettes

P: One of the most impressive pieces in my mind is Cappiello’s Kub, which is currently hanging in a place of prominence in the gallery. Can you tell me more about its importance in the artist’s oeuvre?

JR: Whenever I give a talk on Cappiello, people always ask “well, of the hundreds of posters he did, which one is your favorite?” That’s a little difficult. That’s like asking which is your favorite child. Nonetheless, if pressed, I will always say it’s the Bouillon Kub. To me, it’s just a terribly compelling, forceful graphic image, and in the simplest and most colorful of terms. It really projects the product. I think it’s just brilliant. And for us to even have it – and in such good condition – is very exciting.

"Dentol" by Aleardo Terzi, 1914. Est: $12,000-$15,000

“Dentol” by Aleardo Terzi, 1914. Est: $12,000-$15,000

P: One of the other images that caught my eye was Terzi’s design for Dentol.

JR: Some posters are just about graphic appeal, and some are about utter charm. What can you say about this monkey who, while dangling from a tree branch with one hand, brushes his teeth with the other? It’s obviously attention grabbing, but I think it’s mainly appealing. And its one of the rarest and best Italian posters – so rare that this is the first time we’ve ever had it!

"To London by Sleeper" by Alexander Alexeieff, 1932. Est: $30,000-$40,000

“To London by Sleeper” by Alexander Alexeieff, 1932. Est: $30,000-$40,000

P: Known more commonly as The Night Scotsman, we also have the super-rare image by Alexeieff.

JR: Well, of course, with Alexeieff, he’s trying to show you that it’s a night train – a sleeper – so it’s very fitting that the train is not on rails, but rather in the sky. And this is the same image that was used for the other textual variant of the poster known as the Night Scotsman. That image advertised the route between London and Edinburgh, while here it is coming back from Scotland to London by was of the sleeper. It is one of the great posters of English Art Deco, and we’re exceedingly pleased to have it.

Featuring Alphonse Mucha's 1896 Seasons on silk

Featuring Alphonse Mucha’s 1896 Seasons on silk

P: I was excited when I heard that we were getting a completely unseen variant of a famous work by Mucha.

JR: When we talk about Mucha, we talk about his posters and his panels decoratifs – his decorative panels. Of all the decorative panels, there’s no question that the best, the most sought after, is the Four Seasons he did in 1896. It is the first of his seasons groupings. And we have never, ever seen or heard of it being printed on silk. When I did my catalogue raisonné on Mucha I was totally unaware of it. It’s only very recently that a copy – this copy – has come to the world’s attention. And [being on silk] really adds a certain luminosity to the lithograph – it’s just beautiful to see. The colors are sharp and rich. Sometimes silk mutes a color, but in this case it doesn’t. For instance, the hues in the Autumn panel – the auburn hair is just so very strong. So, I’m very pleased to have this set in the auction.

P: I noticed that in the addendum we have Mucha’s Gismonda as well. Isn’t that one of his most important works?

JR: In terms of importance – importance to his career – Gismonda has to be at the top of the list. This was his first real poster in France. This established his relationship with Sarah Bernhardt, which was so vital. He would go on to design not only all of her posters, but her sets, her decor, jewelry, costumes – and this was the poster that launched that career, while also doing a lot of Bernhardt. Of course, what it did for him was more important. He had to quickly design it – he maybe had two days – and it’s just magnificent.

P: As I’ve mentioned in the blog before, there’s also a relatively huge section dedicated to Fenneker in this sale. Were you excited to get such a large grouping from such a rare artist?

JR: Well, I mean, with Fenneker you get a kind of German Expressionism, sort of the dark world of theater. And the world of theater and film is what he’s all about. Very few copies were done for this small cinema – the Marmorhaus – so they’re incredibly rare. And for us to have a collection of a dozen of his best works is quite remarkable.

"Circuit de Milan" by Aldo Mazza, 1922. Est: $45,000-$50,000

P: Moving to the front of the gallery, I see a ton of automobile posters – as well as a huge classic car. If someone was only to consider one image from this section, which would you recommend?

JR: We have about 50 automobile posters that launch this auction. No question about it, the rarest, the most powerful, the most compelling graphically is Mazza’s design for the Milan race. It’s a large format poster. The colors are very, very sharp, and he really gets across the idea of speed. And nothing tells you speed like wheels coming at you. So, it’s a powerful poster, and it’s on the cover of our catalog for good reason. We also have some Monaco Grand Prix posters – the best by Falcucci and Geo Ham – as well as the Voisin poster by Charles Loupot, and some others by McKnight Kauffer. So, I think it’s a strong section on automobile posters, and there seems to be a subset of collectors who collect not only automobile posters, but specifically racing posters – and for them this is a really excellent section.

Featuring Weiluc's Le Frou-Frou

Featuring Weiluc’s Le Frou-Frou

P: In terms of Art Nouveau, is there one poster that really stands out in this sale?

JR: Oh, that would be the Frou-Frou by Weiluc. It is one of the greatest of all the Belle Epoque posters. Not too many artists really followed Toulouse-Lautrec, but one of the few was Weiluc. And when I say ‘followed’ Lautrec, I’m referring to how he was a master of using the reserve – the sheer paper – as a design element. He didn’t have to fill in every square in with color. And by Weiluc leaving the petticoat here as just paper, he is adding a great deal of appeal to the image. I love the Frou-Frou. It’s for a magazine, and it was actually meant to have a further poster attached to it at the bottom which you almost never see. We have it here and, although it’s just text, it indicates all of the great artists in each issue – some of the top illustrators of the day were being featured. You’ve got Cappiello, Bac, Guillaume, Grun, Georges Meunier, Steinlen – all of these artist who are very well known to poster collectors are here.

Featuring a selection of works by Steinlen, including his Clinique Cheron

P: One of the most dominant images in the gallery is Steinlen’s Clinique Chéron. It’s fairly rare, correct?

JR: Steinlen’s Clinique Chéron has to be one of the great posters involving animals. Of course, almost every poster of Steinlen’s involves animals, largely cats. But here we have a whole menagerie in addition to a lovely young lady – Steinlen’s daughter who he featured in so many of his posters. The image is for a veterinarian. The idea that a vet would go through such expense to do a large, two-sheet poster for his Paris practice is difficult to understand. We certainly wouldn’t see something like this today. However, I’m glad he did it, as the poster is utterly charming and extremely rare.

"Marguerite Dufay" by Louis Anquetin, 1894. Est: $5,000-$6,000

P: Finally, give me a wildcard. If you could bring any of these posters home, which would it be?

JR: Oh, that would be the Marguerite Dufay. There’s just something utterly charming. I find myself looking at her. I really would love to go to her concert tonight – obviously, I’ve missed the date somehow. She just grabs me. The idea of this well-endowed lady and her trombone – it’s bizarre but I think it’s eye catching and very, very pleasing.

Tom Wolfe: Ultimate Dandy

I think it’s safe to say that anyone with two braincells over the age of 18 knows what Tom Wolfe looks like. If you don’t, well…..sorrynotsorry.

However, while gazing upon various photos of the literary giant this morning, I discovered that not only is he one of the greatest American writers of the latter 20th century, but he’s also a fan of vintage posters:

Yep, that's Tom Wolfe

Yep, that’s Tom Wolfe

Yep, that’s Mr. Wolfe being all stylish, emulating that PKZ poster I wrote about last week:

"PKZ" by Hug Laubi, 1925. Est: $4,000-$5,000

“PKZ” by Hug Laubi, 1925. Est: $4,000-$5,000

Apparently, he took one look at Laubi’s design and was all “Wow…I dress like that guy. He should be my in-house spirit animal and remind me how awesome I am every day.”

Also, additional stalking sleuthing led me to additional photos of the Wolfe household, proving that, as of last year, he still owns this poster:

Tom Wolfe's Office, oh yeaaaaah

Tom Wolfe’s Office, oh yeaaaaah

This has been a special poster breaking news report. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

The Most Glamorous Toilet Paper in the Land

If there’s one thing my mother has taught me, it’s that decorating one’s powder room is a difficult affair.

The art must be delicate, welcoming, and not at all controversial – which is why I suggest this poster:

"Morgan Envelope Company" by Anonymous, ca. 1885. Est: $1,000-$1,200

“Morgan Envelope Company” by Anonymous, ca. 1885. Est: $1,000-$1,200

Yes, it took me a bit of research, but that’s a poster advertising toilet paper. And never has the blessed bog roll looked so classy as it does right now.

For a bit of background, toilet paper wasn’t patented in the Modern world until 1883, at which time that giant, unwieldy contraption on the left became the standard dispenser of paper for your nether bits.

Personally, I think great strides have been made in toilet tissue science since the 19th century, the most important of which might be the general size of the sheet offered. I mean, seriously, there is nothing coming out of that woman that needs to be gift-wrapped with any sort of paper that wide. What’s more, if I’m to believe every sign in a public restroom warning me not to use anything but the tiny paper provided, there is no way Belle Epoque plumbing could handle any sort of wet wad that cumbersome. I pity the plumbers of yore.

I also don’t quite understand the bathroom set up happening in this image. Am I to believe that the extra large Springfield dispenser just hung outside the door like a prized work of art, and that those wishing to relieve themselves would have to load up on a purely speculative amount of paper before entering? That seems very un-Edwardian. I certainly can’t imagine Maggie Smith doing that in Downton Abbey.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that this is the ideal accessory for your bathroom – both a lovely bit of American lithography and design, as well as a thought-provoking glimpse into the history of poop.

Bulls & Bears

There are certain posters that instantly evoke the sort of home in which they belong.

"Kub" by Leonetto Cappiello, 1931. Est: $25,000-$30,000

Looking at this poster all I picture is the most modern of apartments, complete with a Mies van der Rohe chair and a chrome coffee table. There may even be some black marble involved and an in-wall fireplace.

Yes, we’re talking about a place where Jordan Belfort could seduce his next mistress or Patrick Bateman could merrily chop up his next beautiful victim.

In essence, this is the ultimate finance douche bag poster – a giant ‘screw you, I’m powerful’ to everyone who enters your home. It also doesn’t hurt that there are a whole lot of sexual overtones in having something ‘strong like bull’ over your couch.

Now that we’ve got the attention of everyone who wants their art to ‘say something,’ let me also impart to you why this image is historically important. I make the argument in our auction catalog that this is the moment that advertising became Modern. It is a complete departure, especially for Cappiello, from his Art Nouveau & Art Deco past, and absolutely nothing like it had been produced by any other graphic designer up until that point. It is bold, minimalist, and incredibly effective while still being artistically compelling. In my opinion, it is the most important poster we have in the sale.

Fenn-der Bender

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember many moons ago when our auction was blessed with the wonder that is Schnackenberg. So bountiful was his presence in that sale that from then on it was known as the Schnack-Attack.

Well, while this auction has some truly stellar Schnackenbergs floating about, the real treasure trove is a collection of ten posters by Josef Fenneker. A Fenn-der Bender, if you will (sorry – I couldn’t come up with a better pun).

"Entgleist" by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,500-$3,000.

“Entgleist” by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,500-$3,000.

Most of these images were created for a small art house cinema in a sub-section of Berlin that encouraged creative graphics (sort of like the equivalent of today’s Williamsburg). So, if these films played at other theaters in the city, they would not have necessarily been promoted with Fenneker’s posters, generally considered too dark and sexual for the average audience.

"Schloss Vogelod" by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,000-$2,500

“Schloss Vogelod” by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,000-$2,500

That makes these posters particularly rare – some so much so that we’ve never seen them in our entire 40 year history in the business.

"Sohne der Nacht" by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,000-$2,500

“Sohne der Nacht” by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,000-$2,500

Personally, I think he’s one of the greatest poster artists to emerge from the post-World War I era. There’s a kinetic nervousness in his lines that reminds one of Oskar Kokoschka. Simultaneously, his female figures in particular emote a pathetic ennui so synonymous with the Weimar generation.

"Der Strafling von Cayenne" by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,500-$3,000

“Der Strafling von Cayenne” by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,500-$3,000

And yet, there is also a softness, a sensuality. In the image for the film Ehrenschuld especially, you feel this constant ebb and flow of movement in the composition akin to waves lolling up and down, as the figures embrace and emerge from one another.

"Ehrenschuld" by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,000-$2,500

“Ehrenschuld” by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,000-$2,500

He also is capable of going somewhat off-type, giving us more romantic drama than is shown in his other designs. Here, this could just as easily be a poster advertising The Queen of Spades or Manon, both operas featuring intense gambling scenes in a casino.

"Baccarat" by Josef Fenneker, 1920. Est: $2,000-$2,500

“Baccarat” by Josef Fenneker, 1920. Est: $2,000-$2,500

And then, in what is possibly the greatest nip-slip in our auction, there’s this design for the film Eine Welt Ohne Liebe. Of course, as a secret redhead, I love that he’s giving us girls our due (even if she is a Butherface). I also love that the title & subtitle translate to “A World Without Love / The Woman Without a Heart” – STORY OF MY LIFE!

"Eine Welt Ohne Liebe" by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,500-$3,000

“Eine Welt Ohne Liebe” by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,500-$3,000

Finally, there’s my personal favorite (so don’t try outbidding me on this or I will find you, and I will kill you, and then I will steal the poster):

"Windsor's Apachen Tanze" by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,500-$3,000

“Windsor’s Apachen Tanze” by Josef Fenneker, 1921. Est: $2,500-$3,000

Unlike the other posters, this is not advertising a film, but a dance duo performing the Apache. For those of you not in the know, an Apache is a highly stylized dance acting out a conversation between a prostitute and her pimp. Similar to a tango, the dance is quite sexual and violent, usually ending with the pimp “killing” the hooker. If you still can’t imagine it, just go back and watch the Roxanne sequence from Moulin Rouge.

And yes, this post is ending with my announcing that I want to own a poster of a pimp killing a hooker so I can hang it above my bed.

Free Parking

If there’s one thing I miss about living outside of Manhattan, it’s driving my car. Not that I still don’t have a car – it’s just living at my mother’s house in the boondocks of Jersey until I decide to either leave the city or take out a second mortgage to pay for a parking space near my building.

And that’s why – out of our entire automobile section – this poster touches me the most.

"Residenz-Garage" by Friedrich Skell, ca. 1910. Est: $5,000-$6,000

“Residenz-Garage” by Friedrich Skell, ca. 1910. Est: $5,000-$6,000

Do not be put off by its somber German-ness – this is an important historic document.

You see, this poster was issued around 1910, just as private automobile ownership was on the rise. In major cities, finding places to park these cars was becoming a bit of an issue. So, some genius bought a crumbling palatial estate in the middle of Munich and turned it into a parking garage.

Yes, this poster is essentially one of the first to advertise private parking in a major city. A luxury this little New Yorker can only dream about.

Darracq: Car vs. Poster

It’s fairly rare that we ever get to see the actual products being advertised in our posters. Sure, I can go grab a bottle of Campari at my liquor store (or, say, from anyone’s grandmother’s house), but outside of alcohol still in production, not too many quality items of yesteryear are hanging around my local thrift shop.

That all changed last Thursday.

1906 Darracq

1906 Darracq

Yes, one of our favorite clients happened to have the actual model of car advertised in one of our posters. From 1906. No joke.

More importantly, he was totally down with letting us borrow it for the duration of our auction preview.

"Darracq" by Walter Thor, 1906. Est: $8,000-$10,000

“Darracq” by Walter Thor, 1906. Est: $8,000-$10,000

How awesome is that?

To give you a little background on the car, I’ll quote the entry in our auction catalog (written by yours truly):

In the early days of motoring, winning a race was virtually a prerequisite to finding a market for a new make of car. Here, Darracq draws attention to its recent triumphs, including a hard-fought first place in the Vanderbilt Cup race on October 14, 1905, with Victor Hemery at the wheel. The design itself is quite remarkable: a calm, steady driver contrasting against the wild sparks bursting off the front wheels, proving that anyone can tame this most fierce of vehicles.

Now rather than deal with me waxing poetic on the image, I’ll just leave you with the car’s fabulous journey into our gallery:

1906 Darracq

1906 Darracq

1906 Darracq

1906 Darracq

1906 Darracq

1906 Darracq

1906 Darracq

Yes, with just an eighth of an inch clearance the car made it into the auction house, safe and sound, where it will be on display til Saturday, September 20th alongside its original advertisement.

Fashion Week Throwdown

Yesterday marked the dawn of New York Fashion Week 2014 – or, as I like to call it, the autumnal High Holy Days.

Such a sacred time forced me to look through our recently printed auction catalog with fresh eyes, realizing that fashionistas of today can still learn so much from our advertising forefathers. Here are just a few posters that really understood how you can kill it with fashion:

"Edmonde Guy" by Umberto Brunelleschi, 1928. Est: $5,000-$6,000

“Edmonde Guy” by Umberto Brunelleschi, 1928. Est: $5,000-$6,000

Mmmm, girl, you werk that gold lamé strapless gown with matching shoes and turban. You’re like a primordial MC Hammer meets Norma Desmond . And that ermine! So many amazingly endangered creatures died for your fur shawl – and nothing screams fashionista like the tiny screams of adorable wildlife.

"Munchener Fasching 1939" by Ludwig Lutz Ehrenberger. Est: $1,200-$1,500

“Munchener Fasching 1939″ by Ludwig Lutz Ehrenberger. Est: $1,200-$1,500

Don’t just ring in the New Year in any ol’ thang. Ring it in like you’re Rita Hayworth in Gilda. Then and only then can you get away with a stupid hat. Trust me, it’ll be like the sexy equivalent of Pharrell’s Vivienne Westwood ensemble.

"La Corte de Napoleon" by G. Hastoy, 1898. Est: $1,700-$2,000

“La Corte de Napoleon” by G. Hastoy, 1898. Est: $1,700-$2,000

Not everyone gets to be pretty, but just because you’re none to hot in the face doesn’t mean you can’t serve up some serious style. Check out Mme Sans-Gene here – dog up top, royalty for days down below. Ain’t nothing expensive jewelery and silk can’t fix, boo.

"Pastilles Geraudel" by Jules Cheret, 1895. Est: $3,000-4,000.

“Pastilles Geraudel” by Jules Cheret, 1895. Est: $3,000-4,000.

Sister here may be advertising cold medicine, but the only thing cold about this poster is that she’s a stone cold fox. Trend prediction for fall: scarlet everything & little itty bitty umbrellas. Try it.

"PKZ" by Hug Laubi, 1925. Est: $4,000-$5,000

“PKZ” by Hug Laubi, 1925. Est: $4,000-$5,000

By now, we’ve all heard that Patrick McDonald, resident Dandy, is leaving New York. Keep his memory alive by emulating this poster – chic, chic, chic my dears.

"Charpentier-Deny" by Louis-Theophile Hingre, ca. 1890. Est: $4,000-$5,000

“Charpentier-Deny” by Louis-Theophile Hingre, ca. 1890. Est: $4,000-$5,000

Let us not forget that the right accessories can take even the sale rack of Sears to a new level of fab. As shown in this poster, you can basically turn your head into a jewel-and-flower-encrusted helmet of glory and still look gorge – there is no such thing as too much embellishment.

"Arrow Collars & Shirts" by J.C. Leyendecker, ca. 1913. Est: $2,000-$2,500

“Arrow Collars & Shirts” by J.C. Leyendecker, ca. 1913. Est: $2,000-$2,500

Have these looks been a bit too daring for you? Are you a total WASP that still wants to amp up your visual brand come October? Then just do as the Leyendecker models always do and wear nothing but the finest of pressed cottons as you glide merrily across a lake in daddy’s schooner. It also helps if you acquire a posh New England accent, a la Katherine Hepburn.

HAPPY FASHION WEEK! And may the style gods always smile down upon thee.

Lauren Bacall: Beyond Film Posters

Most people think of Lauren Bacall as the iconic film actress of the 1940s, the smoldering half of her much-gossiped about relationship with Humphrey Bogart. We imagine her casting side-eyes at the viewer in film posters or sizzling publicity shots, and, later in life, gazing down from her apartment in the Dakota overlooking Central Park.

Talking about her death over lunch today, our Librarian asked if I was going to do a post about the Bacall poster we have in the gallery.

What Bacall poster? We have a Marlene Dietrich poster coming up at auction soon, but no Bacall poster.

Apparently, though, she has a Dewey Decimal System for a brain, because sure enough we do have a Lauren Bacall poster in stock:

"Bacall and the Boys" by Joe Eula, 1968. $300

“Bacall and the Boys” by Joe Eula, 1968. $300

In 1968, CBS aired an hour-long special previewing the upcoming Paris Fashion Week. Hosted by Lauren Bacall, we basically saw her gallivanting around the city with then-upstarts Yves St. Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Pierre Cardin, and Marc Bohan (Dior). It is only fitting that this poster, which features all five of them, was designed by Joe Eula, subject of a few Warhol photographs, frequenter of Studio 54, and eventual Creative Director of Halston.

Continuing on my gallery search, I also remembered that a few years ago, we sold the Confetti poster by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec which came out of the Bogart-Bacall personal collection. This prompted me to hunt down a photo of the poster in situ, and here I found Bogie attempting to hang it in their home:

Bogart Bacall Lautrec

Who knew she loved living with posters as much as being portrayed in them?

Toulouse-Lautrec’s Ladies

One of the coolest pieces in our Toulouse-Lautrec show right now are a series of photographs featuring La Goulue, the dancer in his famous Moulin Rouge Poster.

"La Goulue," hand-tinted photograph, 1905. $12,000

“La Goulue,” hand-tinted photograph, 1905. $12,000

This got me wondering if there were other photographs out there of the many performers which appear in Lautrec’s posters.

The answer? Of course there are.

First, let’s check out some more images of our favorite can-can dancer.

La Goulue at the Moulin Rouge

La Goulue at the Moulin Rouge

La Goulue being a saucy minx

La Goulue being a saucy minx

That last picture is especially telling as her showname, La Goulue, meant ‘the glutton’ – a name which she acquired after developing a reputation for downing customer’s drinks during her routine.

"May Belfort" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895

“May Belfort” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895

While La Goulue may be his most iconic muse, May Belfort is my personal favorite based on dirtiness of performance alone. She would walk around the stage dressed as a child, petting a black cat, and talking – with a lisp – about how much she likes her pussy. Brilliance.

Here she is out of character in some other performance featuring our favorite racist trope: blackface (read: not really our favorite, I’m just super-sarcastic).

May Belfort

May Belfort

Then there’s May Milton:

"May Milton" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895

“May Milton” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895

This is that poster that’s featured in Picasso’s famous Blue Room painting that was all over the news a few months ago.

Most historians make a point that she was neither youthful nor beautiful; however, while she’s no pageant queen, I have to say she’s not that bad in the flesh:

May Milton

May Milton

Then there’s one of Lautrec’s favorite subjects, Jane Avril:

"Jane Avril" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1899

“Jane Avril” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1899

She appears in at least three posters by the artist, and was one of his closest friends. Here she is showing off her full split on the floor of the Moulin Rouge, and then again imitating her high kick in his famous Jardin de Paris poster:

Jane Avril

Jane Avril

Jane Avril

Jane Avril

Finally, we have the woman he portrayed more frequently in prints than in posters: Yvette Guilbert. Known for her glove-clad arms and long neck, she was one of the more famous chanteuses in Montmartre. She only appears in one of Lautrec’s posters, and even then, she is not the focal point. Here, you see her gloved arms and cut-off head in his poster for the Divan Japonais:

"Divan Japonais" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1893

“Divan Japonais” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1893

She frequently complained that he depicted her in an unflattering manner, so the Divan is seen as a “screw you for criticizing my work” gesture.

Yvette Guilbert

Yvette Guilbert

Hopefully, all this has made you want to come by and see the other photographs we have of Lautrec’s various muses.