May Milton on Stage
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 – 1901) was a French painter, printmaker, draftsman, and illustrator. The period he created his art was known as the Belle Époque and his focus was on the decadence in Parisian society. The singularly untalented young English woman, May Milton, danced briefly on stage in Paris as part of a performing troupe and then in a solo act. Despite her short career in the limelight, she was to become the subject of several of Lautrec’s works, notably the painting Au Moulin Rouge 1892–95. Commissioned for her American tour, this remarkable poster of great simplicity and technical virtuosity ensured the performer would have lasting fame. It came to be known in Parisian circles when it was reproduced in Le Rire on 3 August 1895.