Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ‘MISS MAY BELFORT SALUANT (Miss May Belfort Taking a Bow)’, 1895, Christopher-Clark Fine Art

In the spring of 1895 one of the focuses of Lautrec’s interest was the chanteuse May Belfort (May Egan), who came from Ireland, and whose charming accent was mentioned in the Courrier Français on January 20, 1895. There was a great vogue for English-speaking women singers in Paris at the time. In a frilly Kate Greenaway dress, a mob cap with a big bow and with a cat lying in her arms May Belfort sang nursery rhymes filled with double meanings in a lisping voice with a dead straight face. She appeared at the Cabaret des Décadents on the Rue Fontaine; Lautrec saw her there and immortalized her in five lithographs and a color poster.

Signature: Dedicated and signed in blue crayon in the margin lower right a Stern / T-Lautrec, also signed on the stone with the artist’s monogram device lower left.

Publisher: André Marty, Paris

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