Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: At the Moulin Rouge -The Dance (1890)

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At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1890) Philadelphia Museum of Art, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons,

On a Crowded Dance Hall, Paris, 1890

At the Moulin Rouge, the Dance is an oil-on-canvas painted by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in 1890, the second of a number of graphic paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec depicting the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Built in Paris in 1889, the cabaret portrays two dancers dancing the can-can in the middle of the crowded dance hall.

To the right, is a mysterious aristocratic women in pink.

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At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1890) Philadelphia Museum of Art, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons,(detail)

Can-Can at the Cabaret

A recently discovered inscription by Toulouse-Lautrec on the back of the painting reads: “The instruction of the new ones by Valentine the Boneless.”[1] 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.

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.   (via wikipedia)

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At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1890) Philadelphia Museum of Art, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (detail)
According to Joseph J. Rishel in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections, “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.”

Joseph Rishel continues,

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. (Joseph J. Rishel, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 206).

Click for enlarged detail:

Details

  • Title: At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance
  • Date: 1890
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Physical Dimensions: w59 x h45.51 in (Overall)
  • Artist/Maker: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864 – 1901
  • Type: Paintings
  • Credit Line: The Henry P. McIlhenny Collection in memory of Frances P. McIlhenny, 1986

Image credit

Sources

Thanks for Reading! 🙂

The End

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. That was very well done, thanks and I love your other posts with autumn paintings also!! Excellent!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your kind comments – thank you, Jennifer! 🙂

      Like

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