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At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
  • Date: 1890; Paris, France 
  • Style: Art Nouveau (Modern), Post-Impressionism
  • Genre: genre painting
  • Media: oil, canvas
  • Dimensions: 115.5 x 150 cm
  • Order Oil Painting
    reproduction

A recently discovered penciled inscription, in the artist's hand, on the back of this famous painting reads: "The instruction of the new ones by Valentine the Boneless." Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was thus not depicting an ordinary evening at the Moulin Rouge, the fashionable Parisian nightclub but rather a specific moment when a man now known only by his nickname (which certainly describes his nimbleness as a dancer) appears to be teaching the "can-can." Many of the inhabitants of the scene are well-known members of Lautrec's demimonde of prostitutes and artists and people seen only at night including the white-bearded Irish poet William Butler Yeats who leans on the bar. One of the mysteries, however, is the dominant woman in the foreground, the beauty of her profile made all the more so in comparison with that of her chinless companion. It is the latter who expresses better than nearly any other character in this full stage of people Lautrec's profoundly touching ability to be brutally truthful but also truly kind in his observations

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At the Moulin Rouge, the Dance is an oil-on-canvas painted by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. It was painted in 1890, and is the second of a number of graphic paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec depicting the Moulin Rouge cabaret built in Paris in 1889. It portrays two dancers dancing the can-can in the middle of the crowded dance hall. A recently discovered inscription by Toulouse-Lautrec on the back of the painting reads: "The instruction of the new ones by Valentine the Boneless." This means that the man to the left of the woman dancing, is Valentin le désossé, a well-known dancer at the Moulin Rouge, and he is teaching the newest addition to the cabaret. To the right, is a mysterious aristocratic women in pink. The background also features many aristocratic people such as poet Edward Yeats, the club owner and even Toulouse-Lautrec's father. The work is currently displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here →


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