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La Promeneuse (The Walker) by Toulouse-Lautrec

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La Promeneuse (The Walker) by Toulouse-Lautrec

- Item No.

Le Promeneuse is a quintessential Henri Toulouse-Lautrec painting

Key Features

  • Le Promeneuse is a quintessential Henri Toulouse-Lautrec painting
  • Lautrec's work captured the interior life of Montmartre in its heyday as an artistic center
  • This drawing was made for and given to the French artist Jules Contant in 1892
  • Lautrec's style of painting, drawing and printmaking established him as a true genius of modern art
  • Signed T Lautrec a Contant 1892 in lower left hand corner
  • Dated 1892
  • C: 20 3/4 high x 16 7/8 wide F: 28 1/2 high x 24 1/2 wide

Item Details

  • Width:
    C:16 7/8" F:24 1/2" Inches
  • Height:
    C:20 3/4" F:28 1/2" Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    France
  • Subject:
    Figurative
  • Artist:
    Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri De
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
1864-1901  French

La Promeneuse

Signed "T Lautrec a Contant 1892" (in lower left hand corner)
Oil on Cardboard

At once intimate and aloof, "Le Promeneuse," is a quintessential Henri Toulouse-Lautrec painting, displaying his passionate, quick brushstrokes and his unbelievable ability to capture candid moments. In "Le Promeneuse," the elegant back of a woman walking away is captured for the viewer with a degree of sensitivity and originality that has a timeless seduction.

 Lautrec with his series of pencil illustrations, sensitive gouaches and candid paintings served as a lens capturing the interior life of Montmartre in its heyday as the center of Parisian bohemian life. Apartments filled with models and artists, cafes filled with writers, poets, philosophers, and dance halls filled with musicians, dancers and chanteuses all adorn his works on paper and canvas. His method of documentation of the gritty and artistic side of the city as well as his innovative compositions were avant-garde and highly coveted during his time and had an enormous influence on modern art.

Lautrec was a French aristocrat that felt like an outcast because of his unusual appearance. He found refuge in the bohemian circles of Montmartre, Paris' center of artists, musicians and burlesque dancers. Artists such as Picasso, Matisse, van Gogh and musicians such as Satie hung out at these cafes and lived with their models and muses in the garrets above the city. Lautrec did many candid paintings of the life of Montmartre, documenting the dancers, his friends, and their lifestyles. His paintings of women are tender and sympathetic but also truly feminist in their depictions of the working women of Paris at the end of the 19th century.

 His style of painting, drawing and printmaking established him as a true genius of modern art. Most of his works have an intentional unfinished quality to them that reflects the fraying sociological conditions of the cabaret and brothel. He places a lot of emphasis on line and sometimes intentionally leaves canvas or paper unaltered, integrating them into the image. He often chose materials that were immediately in reach, like in this example painted on cardboard, a heartfelt rendering of this quintessential Parisian Belle Epoque street scene painted almost certainly during a moment of revelry at a Montmartre café.

Signed "Toulouse Lautrec for Contant," this painting was made for and given to the French artist Jules Contant almost certainly on the occasion of the 1892 exhibition of the Société des Amis des Arts, Sciences et Lettres in Loir-et-Cher. This whimsical portrait of a classic Belle Epoque pedestrian is a rare work of art that Lautrec signed for Contant, a personal gift from one famous artist to another. This delicate and entrancing portrait is one of 3 recorded paintings that Lautrec gave to Contant while they were friends.

 Lautrec and Contant met in the cafes of Montmartre in the later part of the 19th century. Contant was a public figure and painter active in the politics and societies of Loir-et-Cher and also quite well-known in Paris. A painter of landscapes in the Impressionist style, he exhibited at many of the most popular Parisian salons of the time - Salon d'Automne, Grand Palais, and Salon des Independants. Contant and his wife Francine were avid art collectors and had quite a noteworthy collection of impressionist art, including many Renoirs. The Société des Amis des Arts, Sciences et Lettres in Loir-et-Cher had a number of annual exhibitions which offered opportunities for Parisian celebrities to come to Loir-et-Cher to exhibit and socialize with artists there. Lautrec was one of the favored artists and often presented at these exhibitions.

 Toulouse-Lautrec created art that was inseparable from his legendary life. His career lasted just over a decade and coincided with the explosion of nightlife culture in Paris at the end of the 19th century. Lautrec's work was instrumental in promoting Montmartre entertainers as celebrities. His paintings are personal and sensitive, revealing the sadness and humor hidden beneath the glamor. Though he died tragically young, at thirty-six, due to complications from alcoholism and syphilis, his artistic influence was long-lasting. The majority of his paintings are in major museums and the few that are in private collections are rarely available for acquisition.This is an amazing opportunity to own an original Toulouse-Lautrec.

Dated 1892

C: 20 3/4" high x 16 7/8" wide
F: 28 1/2" high x 24 1/2" wide

 Provenance:
Madame Contant, Paris
Dortu, Paris
Gallery Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland
M. Alexandre Rosenberg, New York
The Lefevre Gallery, London
Private Collection, London and Switzerland


Selected Artist's Museums:
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Louvre Museum, Paris
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Musee Toulouse Lautrec, Albi
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Gallery, London

Literature:
Yannick Ribrioux, Contant Jules (1852-1920), Blois painter: from Impressionism to Neo-Impressionism, 2011. Heritage Fund, Library Abbé Grégoire, Blois length LB 5366 AD and Loir-et-Cher rating 130 J 11.

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