Each week for the duration of the exhibition, we’ll focus on works of art from Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque, on view Feb. 4 through April 30, 2017.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, The Jockey, 1899. Crayon, brush, and spatter lithograph, printed in six colors. Key stone printed in black, color stones in turquoise-green, red, brown, gray-beige and blue on China paper. State II/II, 20 3/8 × 14 1/4 in. Private collection
In 1899, Toulouse-Lautrec’s family committed him without consent to a clinic on the rue de Madrid, Neuilly. He expressed despair to his father: “I am locked up and anything that is locked up dies.” Excursions to the Bois de Boulogne, where the famous Longchamp Racecourse was located, provided him with some diversions. His final lithographs show animals, sporting events, and outdoor activities, subjects fondly remembered from his youth. The Jockey is from a series of four racing prints. This dynamic work, the only one published, places the viewer amid the action. The jockeys rise out of their saddles and encourage their horses down the track. The print shows Toulouse-Lautrec’s awareness of Eadweard Muybridge’s pioneering photographs of a horse at a gallop and Edgar Degas’s influential paintings and drawings of horses with their jockeys.
Toulouse-Lautrec inspired mural in Washington, DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. Photo: Britta Galanis
On the bustling sidewalks of 18th Street, NW, in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, you might notice something familiar. A vibrant mural of one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s most famous posters of the singer Aristide Bruant has been residing in the area for over a decade. Starting off as Café Lautrec, the space is a 2,100 square foot storefront that was owned by André Neveux. The café’s name later changed to Café Toulouse. Neveux, who was the original owner of the space, painted the mural on the building. It has since closed, but the mural lives on.
We here at the Phillips can’t help but chuckle at the parallels between the proximity of Toulouse-Lautrec works and Tryst café. This Toulouse-Lautrec inspired mural is just a few storefronts down from the original Tryst café, and our current Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition is just a couple of floors up from Tryst at the Phillips.
Britta Galanis, Marketing & Communications Intern
Installation view of The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture at The Phillips Collection. Photo: Lee Stalsworth
On April 30th, The Phillips Collection will say goodbye to The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture by artist Jacob Lawrence. The series portrays the life of the former slave turned leader of Haiti’s independence movement. Printmaker and artist Lou Stovall worked closely with Jacob Lawrence during his lifetime, getting to know him both as an artist and as a friend. Stovall spoke about Lawrence’s legacy with the Phillips in a 2001 interview: “He (Lawrence) painted people who changed the lives of other people, people who dedicated themselves to justice and honor.”
Jacob Lawrence utilized his artistic talents in a way that allowed him to portray his narratives in a most captivating way. He explored both realism and abstraction, with personal vision and popular style, said Stovall. The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture will surely be missed by staff and visitors alike. In the words of Lou Stovall, “The triumph of the human spirit is to rise above limitations, to create a sense of order, a place of well-being, an attitude of possibilities, and a desire for accomplishment. Together, Jacob and I did that.”
Elizabeth Federici, Marketing & Communications Intern