Henri de Toulouse–Lautrec (French, 18641901)
Lithograph printed in four colors; three sheets of wove paper; 74 13/16 x 45 7/8 in. (189.99 x 116.51 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1932 (32.88.12)
When the brassy dance hall and drinking garden of the Moulin Rouge opened on the boulevard de Clichy in 1889, one of Lautrec's paintings was displayed near the entrance. He himself became a conspicuous fixture of the place and was commissioned to create the six-foot-tall advertisement that launched his postermaking career and made him famous overnight. He turned a spotlight on the crowded dance floor of the nightclub and its star performers, the "boneless" acrobat Valentin le Désossé and La Goulue, "the glutton," whose cancan skirts were lifted at the finale of the chahut.