Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ‘May Milton - Artist Proof’, 1895, Omnibus Gallery
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ‘May Milton - Artist Proof’, 1895, Omnibus Gallery

Year: 1895
Country: France
Condition: A-

This is an unknown variation of this poster, most likely an artist proof. The variations between this proof and the finished poster are subtle. In this proof the off-white of the face, dress and floor are the color of the paper. In the finished poster these areas are not just paper, but printed with an off-white ink. The most obvious difference is the removal of the pink in the petticoat surrounding her right foot. In this proof, Lautrec left the petticoat white.

This five-color design, with the lettering restricted to the arched name "May Milton," was printed for the dancer's tour of the United States. This is one of Lautrec's boldest poster compositions. May Milton was an English dancer with a pale, serious face and strong chin - who appeared at the Moulin Rouge. The May Milton poster probably hung in Picasso's studio on the Boulevard Clichy in 1901. In his painting, "The Blue Room," it adorns the wall in the back of the studio. If you search Picasso's "The Blue Room" you can see it for yourself. And you can own a piece of one of Picasso's most important paintings for considerably less than the $100mm than the painting would cost. How's that for value? If it's good enough for Pablo..................

May Milton was May Belfort's lover who was respected for her charm, personality, performances and intellect which was the opposite of what most people thought of May Milton. She rode on her partner's petticoats so to speak.

Signature: Signed in stone by the artist, lower left hand corner.

About Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Renowned Post-Impressionist painter, lithographer, and art nouveau illustrator Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is famous for his depictions of French fin de siècle urban life. Working in his characteristic linear style, Lautrec frequently portrayed scenes from brothels and cabaret clubs, including the Moulin Rouge, where he had a seat reserved after producing a series of promotional posters for the club’s opening in 1888. Lautrec was influenced by the artists Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet, who shared with them a keen interest in the observation of social culture.

French, 1864-1901, Albi, France, based in Paris, France