Gouache on board
13 1/8 x 9 1/8in (33.3 x 23.2cm)
Bequest of Marion Koogler McNay
Primarily known for his posters for the Moulin Rouge in Paris and drawings of cabaret dancers, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec also painted portraits of Parisian artists and writers. The subject here is the wife of Paul Leclercq, a poet and founding member of Parisian art and literature magazine, La Revue Blanche. Lautrec paints Madame Leclercq with the loose, sketchy brushstrokes that are common in his paintings and reminiscent of his drawings. Shown from the shoulders up, Leclercq’s top is unfinished, and the raw yellow artist/academic board, a cheap support popular at the time, is visible behind the artist’s abstract rendering of wallpaper. Though considered naturally beautiful by many, including Lautrec, Leclercq’s vanity annoyed the artist and created tension during the completion of the portrait commission.
Signature & date
Signed l.l.: T Lautrec
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, b.1864, d.1901)