La danse au Moulin Rouge – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

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This painting from 1890 shows the dancer Valentin Le Désossé teaching La Goulue to dance can-can. It’s on display in Philadelphia Museum of Arts.

Toulouse-Lautrec’s association with Moulin Rouge began when it opened in 1889 and the owner bought a painting by the artist as a decoration for the foyer. He was then commissioned to produce a series of posters. The establishment reserved a table for him and he became a frequent guest, sitting there laughing and drinking and at the same time making sketches. The next day in his studio, he would expand the sketches to brightly coloured paintings of the patrons and regulars of the dance hall.

 

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