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Jane Avril

  • $ 19.99

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. It is very fitting that one of Toulouse-Lautrec's finest posters should be the last one he made for Jane Avril. It is dated in February of 1899, and in March he entered a clinic for the first time. This fascinating work is a true child of the Art Nouveau age... It shows the constant flirtation with the macabre that is part of Art Nouveau. Snakes were portrayed a great deal in the jewelry of the period... So Toulouse-Lautrec's final portrayal of Jane Avril is not as a Japanese geisha from Bing, but as a girl stifled by the art of her time. She liked the poster very much, but her impresario refused it, and it was never shown." "The snake costume was probably an invention of Lautrec's rather than one that Jane Avril actually wore in a dance, which may be why her manager rejected the poster and it was never used. A preparatory drawing shows only a boa-like form wound around the dancer. In comparison to the poster made of her six years before, this design shows both Avril and Lautrec under the sway of Art Nouveau. Janes's form fitting dress departs entirely from the bonnet's, aprons, petticoats, and full skirts of her earlier costume (see Jane Avril), and one might assume that her dancing had changed to a similarly sophisticated style. The snake, at which she feigns horror, is used to complement her twisting form