The Joy of Museums

Finding Beauty & Meaning in Museums

At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French - At the Moulin Rouge- The Dance - Google Art Project

“At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance” is the second of a number of 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 indicates that the dancing man is Valentin le désossé, a well-known dancer at the Moulin Rouge, and he is teaching the newest addition to the cabaret.

Featured in the painting are many aristocratic people such as poet Edward Yeats, the club owner and Toulouse-Lautrec’s father.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec immersed himself in the colourful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 1800’s, which allowed him to produce a collection of elegant and provocative images of the modern and decadent, life of Paris at the time. My favourites include:

  • At the Moulin Rouge, 1892, Art Institute of Chicago
  • La Goulue arriving at the Moulin Rouge (1892), Museum of Modern Art, New York City
  • At the Moulin Rouge: Two Women Waltzing (1892), National Gallery in Prague
  • Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in “Chilpéric”, (1895-1896), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

~~~

Essential Facts:

  • Title:                         At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance
  • Artist:                       Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
  • Year:                         1890
  • Medium:                  Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions             H: 116 cm (45.55 in). Width: 150 cm (59.04 in).
  • Museum:                 Philadelphia Museum of Art

Artist Essential Facts:

  • Name:                Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa
  • Born:                 1864 – Albi, Tarn, France
  • Died:                  1901 (aged 36) – Saint-André-du-Bois, France
  • Resting place:  Cimetière de Verdelais
  • Nationality:      French
  • Movement:       Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau
  • Famous Works:
    • The Marble Polisher, 1882-87, Princeton University Art Museum,
    • Portrait of Vincent van Gogh (1887), Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
    • La Goulue arriving at the Moulin Rouge (1892), Museum of Modern Art, New York City
    • At the Moulin Rouge, 1892, Art Institute of Chicago
    • At the Moulin Rouge: Two Women Waltzing (1892), National Gallery in Prague
    • Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in “Chilpéric”, (1895-1896), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
    • Ambassadeurs – Aristide Bruant (1892), Poster

~~~

“Of course one should not drink much, but often.” Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

~~~

_________________________________________________________________

Photo Credit: 1) By Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864 – 1901 (1864 – 1901) – Artist/Maker (French) Born in Albi, France. Dead in Langon, France. Details of artist on Google Art Project [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons