Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC | Brandès and Bargy, in 'Scoundrels’ [Brandès et le Bargy, dans 'Cabotins']

Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
France 1864 – 1901

Brandès and Bargy, in 'Scoundrels’ [Brandès et le Bargy, dans 'Cabotins'] 1894 planographic , brush, crayon and spatter lithograph with scraper, printed in olive-green
43.0 (h) x 33.0 (w) cm , edition of 50
not signed, not dated
Reference: Delteil 61; Adriani 67; Wittrock 52 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra NGA 2011.183 The Poynton Bequest 2011

The free flow of café-concert performers to appear on the avant-garde theatre stage in Paris blurred the distinction between the two forms of entertainment. Jane Avril, for example, performed in the role of Anitra in Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, for Aurélian-Marie Lugné-Poe’s production at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre in 1896. Like other artists, particularly those associated with the Nabis, such as Pierre Bonnard, Félix Vallotton, Paul Sérusier, Edouard Vuillard and Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Lautrec embraced the idea of designing programs for the more experimental theatres, as well as posters advertising performances, such as La Gitane by Richepin at the Théâtre Antoine, portraying the thespians he was so taken with.

Lautrec was attracted to comedy, and one such play he attended was Edouard Pailleron’s Cabotins [Scoundrels], performed at the Comédie Français, also known as the Théâtre Français, from February 1894. Pailleron had abandoned a career in law – after appearing at the bar just once – to write for the theatre, especially ‘poetic farces’.[1] This lithograph is one of a series of scenes from Cabotins made by Lautrec.

The ageing actress with the stage name Marthé Brandès (originally known as Marthé-Joséphine Brunswig) complains to her partner Charles Le Bargy (played by her husband Leloir) about her young rival – who is eighteen. Lautrec perfectly captures Brandès’ vicious quality, exaggerated by his sense of caricature: her ferocious expression augments her natural facial features of pronounced chin, squinting eyes and jutting jaw as she leans across a table. These qualities he depicted in an equally unflattering drawing of the same year.[2] Brandès’ jealousy of the other woman is palpable. Le Bargy has almost disappeared in fright, with his face barely recognisable as the confrontation takes place in the atelier of the sculptor Cardevent, which is suggested by the sculptural figures in the background.

JK

 

[1] Jules Claretie, Edouard Pailleron, Paris: A. Quantin, 1883, p. 8.

[2] M.G. Dortu, Toulouse-Lautrec et son oeuvre, New York: Paul Brame et C.M. de Hauke, Collectors Editions, 1971, vol. 5, D.3.632.

The free flow of café-concert performers to appear on the avant-garde theatre stage in Paris blurred the distinction between the two forms of entertainment. Jane Avril, for example, performed in the role of Anitra in Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, for Aurélian-Marie Lugné-Poe’s production at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre in 1896. Like other artists, particularly those associated with the Nabis, such as Pierre Bonnard, Félix Vallotton, Paul Sérusier, Edouard Vuillard and Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Lautrec embraced the idea of designing programs for the more experimental theatres, as well as posters advertising performances, such as La Gitane by Richepin at the Théâtre Antoine, portraying the thespians he was so taken with.

Lautrec was attracted to comedy, and one such play he attended was Edouard Pailleron’s Cabotins [Scoundrels], performed at the Comédie Français, also known as the Théâtre Français, from February 1894. Pailleron had abandoned a career in law – after appearing at the bar just once – to write for the theatre, especially ‘poetic farces’.[1] This lithograph is one of a series of scenes from Cabotins made by Lautrec.

The ageing actress with the stage name Marthé Brandès (originally known as Marthé-Joséphine Brunswig) complains to her partner Charles Le Bargy (played by her husband Leloir) about her young rival – who is eighteen. Lautrec perfectly captures Brandès’ vicious quality, exaggerated by his sense of caricature: her ferocious expression augments her natural facial features of pronounced chin, squinting eyes and jutting jaw as she leans across a table. These qualities he depicted in an equally unflattering drawing of the same year.[2] Brandès’ jealousy of the other woman is palpable. Le Bargy has almost disappeared in fright, with his face barely recognisable as the confrontation takes place in the atelier of the sculptor Cardevent, which is suggested by the sculptural figures in the background.

JK

 

[1] Jules Claretie, Edouard Pailleron, Paris: A. Quantin, 1883, p. 8.

[2] M.G. Dortu, Toulouse-Lautrec et son oeuvre, New York: Paul Brame et C.M. de Hauke, Collectors Editions, 1971, vol. 5, D.3.632.

The free flow of café-concert performers to appear on the avant-garde theatre stage in Paris blurred the distinction between the two forms of entertainment. Jane Avril, for example, performed in the role of Anitra in Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, for Aurélian-Marie Lugné-Poe’s production at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre in 1896. Like other artists, particularly those associated with the Nabis, such as Pierre Bonnard, Félix Vallotton, Paul Sérusier, Edouard Vuillard and Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Lautrec embraced the idea of designing programs for the more experimental theatres, as well as posters advertising performances, such as La Gitane by Richepin at the Théâtre Antoine, portraying the thespians he was so taken with.

Lautrec was attracted to comedy, and one such play he attended was Edouard Pailleron’s Cabotins [Scoundrels], performed at the Comédie Français, also known as the Théâtre Français, from February 1894. Pailleron had abandoned a career in law – after appearing at the bar just once – to write for the theatre, especially ‘poetic farces’.[1] This lithograph is one of a series of scenes from Cabotins made by Lautrec.

The ageing actress with the stage name Marthé Brandès (originally known as Marthé-Joséphine Brunswig) complains to her partner Charles Le Bargy (played by her husband Leloir) about her young rival – who is eighteen. Lautrec perfectly captures Brandès’ vicious quality, exaggerated by his sense of caricature: her ferocious expression augments her natural facial features of pronounced chin, squinting eyes and jutting jaw as she leans across a table. These qualities he depicted in an equally unflattering drawing of the same year.[2] Brandès’ jealousy of the other woman is palpable. Le Bargy has almost disappeared in fright, with his face barely recognisable as the confrontation takes place in the atelier of the sculptor Cardevent, which is suggested by the sculptural figures in the background.

JK

 

[1] Jules Claretie, Edouard Pailleron, Paris: A. Quantin, 1883, p. 8.

[2] M.G. Dortu, Toulouse-Lautrec et son oeuvre, New York: Paul Brame et C.M. de Hauke, Collectors Editions, 1971, vol. 5, D.3.632.



Image detail: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec La Goulue entering the Moulin Rouge [La Goulue entrant au Moulin Rouge] 1892
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Gift of Mrs David M. Levy