Located near the Champs–Élysées, the city’s fame tree-lined avenue, Jardin de Paris (1901) was the summer location of the historic dance hall Le Moulin Rouge. A young Pablo Picasso pursued commercial work to sustain a living and produced this design as a speculative bid. The venue’s Catalan manager, Josep Oller, however, did not purchase it. Both the imagery and the style recall that of the iconic Montmartre artist of the 1890s, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, whose work Picasso emulated. Continue reading Modern Art Monday Presents: Pablo Picasso, Jardin de Paris
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s association with the Moulin Rouge began when it opened in 1889 and the owner bought the artist’s Equestrienne (at the Cirque Fernanado) to decorate the foyer. Lautrec populated the scene depicted in At The Moulin Rouge (1892/95) with portraits of the regulars at the dance hall, including himself — the diminutive figure in the center background — accompanied by his cousin and frequent companion, the physician Gabriel Tapie de Celeyran. The woman on the right is the scandalous English singer Mary Milton. At some point, the artist or his dealer cut down the canvas to remove her from the composition, perhaps because her shocking appearance made the work hard to sell. In any case, by 1914 the cut section had been reattached to the painting.
Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.
After arriving in Paris in 1882, Louis Anquetin studied at the Atelier Cormon, where he met and befriended Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The frenetically innovative Aquetin was, in Lautrec’s words, “the glory of the studio.”
Both artists focused on la vie moderne, particularly the nocturnal life of Paris. This painting (1888) depicts an unescorted woman walking through the garden of Élysée Montmartre, a dance hall that predated the Moulin de la Galette and the Moulin Rouge, both locations also painted by Lautrec. Who she is remains a mystery, but her unusual printed dress and extravagant hat, more costume than fashion, suggest she might be an off-duty performer. In contrast to the female figures who lurk among the trees in the background, Anquetin’s élégante appears at ease in the spotlight, not a visitor but a part of this popular entertainment spot.
An Elegant Woman at the Élysée Montmartre was photographed in the Art Institute Chicago.