35.6 x 28 cm art print featuring Jane Avril by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec from the National Galleries of Scotland collection. This print comes delivered rolled in a cardboard tube.
Lautrec’s poster for the dancer Jane Avril (1868–1943) employs an innovative process in which three stones are used to print four colours: applying blue and yellow ink together with one roller on a single stone. This image was Lautrec's last depiction of Avril and the penultimate poster of his career. Showing Avil in an extravagant hat and long dress decorated with a snake motif, the poster appears to have been inspired by an earlier publicity photograph by Paul Sescau. Avril and her manager rejected the poster, and it was never used publicly, making examples particularly rare.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was born in Albi, near Toulouse in south-west France. He was descended from French aristocratic families and from birth he had suffered from a rare bone disorder that meant he had to walk with a cane and was only four and a half feet tall. He became something of a celebrity in the Montmartre district of Paris where he lived and worked, relishing the hedonistic bohemian life there. His posters for famous performance venues such as the Moulin Rouge or the Jardin du Paris are some of the most recognisable images to emerge from fin-de-siècle France.