The Barrison Sisters

Maker and role
Artist: Réne Georges Hermann-Paul, French, 1864-1940
ca. 1895

See full details


image, 12 x 9in (30.5 x 22.9cm)
sheet, 19 1/4 x 12 3/8in (48.9 x 31.4cm)
Credit line
Museum purchase
Accession number
Object type
Further information
The Barrison sisters were Americans who found great fame and fortune on the Parisian stage of the 1890s. They were known for often using double entendre in their lyrics, including "Voulez vous voir ma chat?" This literally read "Would you like to see my cat?" but means something else entirely. When the crowds boisterously responded in the positive, the sisters would lift up their skirts to reveal kittens hanging out of their underwear.

This lithograph, with its fluid lines and splattered ink, is reminiscent of prints by Hermann-Paul's contemporary and fellow cabaret denizen Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Unlike Lautrec's prints, however, Hermann-Paul's lithographs are not well known, perhaps owing to their rarity. While a catalogue of the artist's prints has not been produced, only three impressions of The Barrison Sisters are believed to exist.
Subject period


Be the first to comment.