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Aristide Bruant (1851–1925) was a successful singer and composer, who also managed the Mirliton cabaret in the Montmartre district of Paris. Her friendship with Toulouse-Lautrec dates back to the first shows in the café-concert halls on the Champs-Elysées. For these, Aristide had commissioned the artist to create graphics for some posters, which she hoped would have a strong impact on the public.
The result was a symbol that powerfully represented the singer, who was seen with a wide-brimmed hat, cape and red scarf. Published alongside numerous texts, the poster features the singer from behind, looking backwards with a cocky expression. It is likely that Lautrec was inspired by the Japanese prints used for Kabuki theater when defining the composition. These emphasized the character through dramatic shapes and poses. Japonism, seen as the tendency of using figurative and stylistic models from Oriental art, was very popular during the artist's lifetime. Five prints of this work are known, with the illustration gradually enriched with publicity headings: the first, which is kept at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna, has no writing.

Details

  • Title: Aristide Bruant (dans son cabaret)
  • Creator: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
  • Date: 1893/1893
  • Physical Location: Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Milano
  • gift: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: w925 x h1270 mm
  • Provenance: Donation
  • Type: lithography
  • Medium: Brush- and spray-based lithograph print in 4 colors

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