Woman before a Mirror

Artist: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, Albi 1864–1901 Saint-André-du-Bois)

Date: 1897

Medium: Oil on cardboard

Dimensions: 24 1/2 x 18 1/2 in. (62.2 x 47 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002

Accession Number: 2003.20.15


The indolent, cloistered lives of prostitutes were the subject of some of Lautrec’s most powerful works. He made about fifty paintings depicting them, as well as numerous drawings and prints, including a suite of color lithographs, Elles, which was completed the year before this painting. Lautrec does not flatter the woman’s naked figure, nor does he divulge the expression she sees in her mirror: she appears simply to be taking a stark appraisal of herself.