A Charged Moment

Each week for the duration of the exhibition, we’ll focus on one work of art from Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque, on view Feb. 4 through April 30, 2017.

Englishman at the Moulin Rouge_Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, The Englishman at the Moulin Rouge, 1892. Brush and spatter lithograph, printed in six or seven colors. Key stone printed in olive green, color stones in aubergine, blue, red, yellow, and black on wove paper. State II/II, 21 × 14 3/4 in. Private collection

At the Moulin Rouge, La Goulue and Her Sister and The Englishman at the Moulin Rouge, shown here, make an informal pair. They share a similar handling of large, flat expanses of color juxtaposed with refined tonal gradations achieved through the spatter of lithographic ink. British artist William Warrener posed for the male figure in this print. Toulouse-Lautrec first drew a portrait of Warrener and then developed a painting. The lithograph went through a black-and-white state and a color state, seen here, each printed in an edition of 100 impressions. The scene reveals a sexually charged moment. A wealthy client entertains the seduction of two flirtatious Moulin Rouge dancers, Rayon d’Or and La Sauterelle, suggesting the practice of prostitution common at Montmartre’s nightclubs. The cropping of the image enhances its immediacy, and the man’s inclined posture reinforces the nature of their exchange.