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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 - 1901)
Crayon, brush and spatter lithograph on wove paper, folded, printed by Edw. Ancourt, Paris, France 1895. Condition: Fine (B+) Restored loss upper right corner, small replaced loss in bottom margin at fold, backed on linen and framed.
Sheet size: 23.25 H. X 32.5 W. Frame size: 35 H. X 44 W.
From the edition of 100 signed impressions.

Toulouse-Lautrec designed the covers for both the first and last editions of L'Estampe Originale, an important serial compendium of original prints published from 1893 to 1895. By its own description, the publication featured 'the elite of the art world and contemporary young artists.' It became highly influential, stimulating and sustaining interest in limited-edition lithographs. Lautrec's active involvement in the series suggests his interest in defining himself as a major player in the world of original printmaking. That he was awarded the honor of both welcoming the publication and bidding it farewell suggests the appreciation of Lautrec's work by the visionaries of his day. The quality of Lautrec's work on the covers advertised the quality of the contents.

This lithograph, 'Couverture de l'Estampe Originale', was the final cover. It listed the artists whose work was included in the compilation, a virtual Who's Who of the great painters of the time - Renoir, Pissarro, Redon...The images Lautrec chose for the cover were among his favorites - the stucco elephant marking the entrance to the Moulin Rouge, the backstage scene as the curtain is about to rise, and on the back cover, an interesting juxtaposition, the close-up of Misia Natanson in her box seat moves the stage into the background. A tour de force in simplicity, Lautrec's print is at once visually intriguing and historically illuminating.
Reference: Wittrock 96
Inventory #9603
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