Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec (French 1864 – 1901)
BABYLONE D’ALLEMAGNE Printed in 1894
Lithograph printed in colors, 1894, on linen-backed wove paper, printed by Chaix, Paris, tastefully framed with archival materials.
Condition: Linen lined. Wear commensurate of age and use with restorations on 3-4 spots on border. Crease line in center. Please note photographs have little white dots that are reflections outside in the sun. Main listing photo is accurate with no reflection.
Sheet: 47.5 X 33.3 Inches
Framed: 56 x 41.7 inches,
Published by Victor Joze, Paris Printed by Chaix, Paris artist’s monogram, signature and date in the stone, lower left
Reference: Delteil 351 I; Wittrock p12; Adhemar 68
Babylone d’Allemagne’ or ‘German Babylon’ is an original lithograph poster by the lauded artist of the Art Nouveau style Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. This is the second poster that Lautrec designed to advertise a novel by the Polish author Victor Joze. In the poster, a stiff Prussian officer sits atop a horse, a not-so-subtle jab at the German military. Indeed, the poster caused a stir, offending the German ambassador to France and nearly starting an international incident. The poster as it appears is the second state: the first state of the poster contains none of the text of the title of the book, which was added later by a hand other than that of Lautrec.
Condition: Fully restored and mounted on linen. Areas of restauration include lower right margin, center left margin and a center crease as photographed. Presents beautifully. archivally framed. Museum Acrylate glazing to prohibit 99% UV light fading. Mounted on linen.
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec became one of France’s most prominent Post-Impressionist painters and capturing the night life of part of the city, was described as “the soul of Montmartre.” He also did a number of illustrations for the magazine Le Rire during the 1890s. Toulouse-Lautrec was born in Albi, France, in the mid-Pyranees region. He was the first child of a Count and Countess whose aristocratic lineage dated back over a thousand years.
Toulouse-Lautrec moved to Paris in 1882 in order to learn from artists by working with them in their studios. He was especially impressed with Impressionist painter and sculptor Edgar Degas. Lautrec’s subjects were primarily the bohemian world of Montmartre, the city’s quarter where he lived and the area that had a mix that included starving’ artists, actors, actresses, singers and dancers such as La Goulue who created the Can Can and performed at the Moulin Rouge. It was also the location of racetracks, dance halls and many bars and brothels, likely the places where he, a frequent visitor, got the syphilis that along with excessive alcohol consumption added to his health problems and caused his death. He partied and sketched the nightlife, and in the daytime, converted his sketches into paintings and lithographs.
Shortly before he died on September 9, 1901 at the age of 36, he was put in a sanatorium after his highly protective mother was unable to keep him at home. He is buried in Malromé at his family’s estate, and he is buried in Verdelais, Gironde, close to his death place. The Comtesse Adéle Toulouse-Lautrec, his mother, and his dealer, Maurice Joyant, worked hard after his death to keep his name alive and promote his artwork. Because of their efforts, a museum in Albi was built in his honor. Two movies titled Moulin Rouge are about his life.
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