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Frontispiece of the series Elles
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1896

Frontispiece of the series Elles

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 - 1901)

lithograph in three colours on wove paper, 52.2 cm x 40.4 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)


The print series Elles shows scenes from Parisian maisons closes – brothels tolerated and inspected by the French state. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a regular visitor, and even lodged in them at times. His series of prints explores the daily life of the prostitutes.

We see the women in their private rooms, sleeping, eating breakfast, washing or waiting for clients. By modern standards, these intimate scenes do not have an explicitly erotic character, but prints like this were considered scandalous and immoral in Lautrec’s time.

Lithography was an immensely popular technique among nineteenth-century artists, and it is clear from this series that Lautrec was a master of it. Some of his lithographs comprise large expanses of colour and leap from the paper. In others, he used a single colour, building up the image purely from subtle lines. He also made use of the crachis or spatter technique. The exclusive character of this famous series is emphasized by the deluxe paper on which it has been printed and by the limited print run.

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Object data

Object number
p2462bV2006
Dimensions
52.2 cm x 40.4 cm, 52.2 cm x 40.4 cm
Catalogue raisonné
Wittrock 155 III, Delteil 179, Adriani 171, Adhémar 200 II

Inscription/label

monogram
H T L by Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de
inscription
Serie No 58 GP by Pellet, Gustave
watermark
G. PELLET T. LAUTREC

Literature

  • Riva Castleman, Toulouse-Lautrec : posters and prints from the collection of Irene and Howard Stein, 1998, p. 114-115
  • By Wolfgang Wittrock ; edited and translated by Catherine E. Kuehn, Toulouse-Lautrec : the complete prints, 1985, p. 376-377
  • Loys Delteil, Le peintre-graveur illustré : the graphic works of nineteenth and twentieth century artists : an illustrated catalog, 1969, no. 179
  • Götz Adriani, Toulouse-Lautrec : das gesamte graphische werk : Sammlung Gerstenberg, 1986, p. 222-225
  • Toulouse-Lautrec : artist of Montmartre, 2001, p. 98-99
  • Danièle Devynck, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec : les affiches : collection du Musée Toulouse-Lautrec = Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec : the posters : the Toulouse-Lautrec museum collection, 2001, p. 88-89
  • [Richard Thomson...et al.], Toulouse-Lautrec, 1992, p. 436-439
  • Jean Adhémar, Toulouse-Lautrec : his complete lithographs and drypoints, [s.a.], no. 200-210
  • Phillip Dennis Cate, Gale B. Muray, Richard Thomson, Prints abound : Paris in the 1890s, from the collections of Virginia and Ira Jackson and the National Gallery of Art, 2000, p. 50-51
  • David A. Brenneman ; with contributions from Riva Castleman, Laura Dickey, Frances Fowle ... [et al.], Toulouse-Lautrec & friends : the Irene and Howard Stein collection, 2010, p. 68-81
  • Colta Feller Ives, The great wave : the influence of Japanese woodcuts on French prints, 1974, p. 79-94
  • ed. by Pat Gilmour, Lasting Impressions : lithography as art, cop. 1988, p.134
  • Katherine M. Kuenzli, The Nabis and intimate modernism : painting and the decorative at the Fin-de Siécle, 2010, p. 51-52
  • Claude Roger-Marx, Meesters der prentkunst in de 19e eeuw, [1965], p.192-201
  • Peter Assmann ; Martin Hochleitner ; Alain Tapié ;; ... [et al.], Toulouse-Lautrec : der intime Blick, 2009, p. 21, 44, 47-48, 107-121
  • Udo Felbinger, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 'Elles', 2003
  • Emmanuel Pernoud, Le bordel en peinture : l'art contre le goût, 2001, p. 66-73
  • Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec : woman as myth, 2001, p. 13-35
  • Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho, Marije Vellekoop, Prentkunst in Parijs : de rage van het fin de siècle, 2012, p. 74-79 ,102-105
  • Jürgen Döring, Toulouse-Lautrec und die Belle Epoque, 2002, p. 176, 186-195
  • Ed. by Karin A. Levine ; Karin Breuer, Japanesque : the Japanese print in the era of Impressionism, 2010, p. 66-107
  • [medewerkers van Gogh Museum], Van Gogh Museum : jaarverslag 2006, 2007, p. 11, 17, 20-23, 28-29, 69
  • Götz Adriani, Bordell und Boudoir : Schauplätze der Moderne : Cézanne, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, 2005, p. 179-201
  • Anisabelle Berès et Michel Arveiller, Les peintres graveurs, 1890-1900, 2002, no.202
  • By Frances Carey and Antony Griffiths, From Manet to Toulouse-Lautrec : French lithographs 1860-1900, 1978, p. 72-91
  • [Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie...et al.], Toulouse-Lautrec : les estampes et les affiches de la Bibliothèque Nationale = Toulouse-Lautrec : prints and posters from the Bibliothèque Nationale, 1992, p. 150-171
  • Richard Thomson, Phillip Dennis Cate, Mary Weaver Chapin, Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre, 2005, p. 204-235
  • Hollis Clayson, Painted love : prostitution in french art of the impressionist era, 1991, p. 1-26
  • Rita E. Täuber, Der häßliche Eros : Darstellungen zur Prostitution in der Malerei und Grafik 1855-1930, 1997, p. 35-37
  • Hervé Manéglier, Les artistes au bordel, 1997, p. 265-268
  • Charles Bernheimer, Figures of ill repute : representing prostitution in nineteenth-century France, 1989, p. 157-199
  • Susan Hollis Clayson, Representations of prostitution in early third republic France, 1985, p. 79-176
  • Edited by The Society for the Study of Japonisme, Japonisme in art : an international symposium, 1980, p. 239-260
  • John Leighton, Chris Stolwijk, Sjraar van Heugten, Van Gogh Museum : a decade of collecting : acquisitions 1997-2006, 2006, p. 98-99
  • préface de Nicole d'Huart, Toutes les affiches de Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec aux Musée d'Ixelles, 2002, p. 80-83
  • Florence Rionnet, Les nuits de Toulouse-Lautrec : de la scène aux boudoirs, 2007, p. 46-52
  • [Katalog : Anne Röver-Kann], Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec : Parisier Nächte, 1994, p. 173-183
  • Ed. by Jay A. Clarke ; with essays by Mary Weaver Chapin, Anne Higonnet, Richard Kendall ... [et al.], The Impressionist line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec : drawings and prints from the Clark, 2013, p. 121-135
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