Full size (printed in 1896) sold for $ 52,500 US, Sotheby's, N.Y.
Lot 134, March 2001
"At the height of the cancan's popularity, dancers formed
groups which offered their services as a unit. Whether the troupe
of Mlle Eglantine was the best of them we don't know, but it is
certainly the only one publicized by the best Toulouse-Lautrec did
it at his request of his friend Jane
Avril. From left to right, we see Jane Avril. Cleopatra, Eglantine
and Gazelle. As with Moulin Rouge poster, he lets the white of the
petticoats, punctuated by stockinged legs, do most of the talking,
but he also offhandedly gives each girl a distinct character in
only a fez limning their facial expressions" (Wine
Spectator, 43) The poster was designed for the group's London
appearance at the Palais Theatre. Jane Avril her friend to Henri
(Lautrec) at the last minute to leave the name of the venue out
of the design, hoping that it would be a success and travel to other
theatrers as well. Unfortunately, the Troupe was not well received
and they went no further. But the cancan, which was usually performed
at the time in a formation of four dancers, as shown here, continues
to live in our imagination due to the lively, fresh and original
composition of this poster" (Rennert,
During the 1960s the renowned French printer, Mourlot Freres, printed
this superb series "Les Affiches de Toulouse-Lautrec"
for collectors. They are reduced lithographic versions of Lautrec's
most famous works. They are truly the most beautiful printing we
have been able to find in this size format.
As vintage printings of Lautrec's work, in all formats, reach high
prices, this mid-century printing offers a superb alternative at
a reasonable price that will only appreciate in value.