The Wheel (1893) by Henri de Toulouse-LautrecMASP - Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand
During the Belle Époque, Montmartre is alive with famous faces - artists, intellectuals, dancers. If you want to see them in a moment of real "life", Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec has the answer.
One of several choreographed cabaret staples is a 'wheel' shape created by a dress. Toulouse-Lautrec's scene focuses on this area, but only depicts it in a sketched form.
Stilll, it's the most vital part of the work. The painter lets us see the rapid pencil and brush strokes which he used to paint from backstage.
The painter's eye concentrates on the dancer's face, concealed by heavy makeup. It's a frank eye, which captures every aspect of the Parisian cabaret without judgement.
It's Loïe Fuller, a cabaret dancer famous for performing in flowing, elaborate dress. In this fleeting moment, we've become her audience. Does she deserve an applause?
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