Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC | Frontispeice for 'Yvette Guilbert'

Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
artist France 1864 – 1901

Frontispeice for 'Yvette Guilbert' Yvette Guilbert 1898 planographic , crayon transfer lithograph with pen transfer lithograph signatures, printed in black on cream, wove paper
49.5 (h) x 38.0 (w) cm
?/350 , First edition
Reference: Wittrock 271 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra NGA 2011.830.10 The Poynton Bequest 2011

Yvette Guilbert was one of Lautrec’s favourite singers – a distinctive performer who half sang and half spoke the songs of the Parisian demi-monde. Like Lautrec, the critic Gustave Geffroy was captivated by Guilbert:  

She pronounces, she articulates, she sends the words out to every part of the hall or across the garden of the Champs-Elysées, she pierces the clouds of tobacco smoke, the vapours of alcohol, and the smog of human breath. Each syllable comes to us like an arrow shot from throat, teeth, and tongue, borne on a wave of clear, transparent sound, at once firm and frail, like a vibrating crystal.

Guilbert recognised the value of self-promotion through image and thus her long association with Lautrec benefited both. Here, she appears as a white faced phantom with her unusual angular face and painfully thin body, wearing her signature long black gloves.

Yvette Guilbert was one of Lautrec’s favourite singers – a distinctive performer who half sang and half spoke the songs of the Parisian demi-monde. Like Lautrec, the critic Gustave Geffroy was captivated by Guilbert:  

She pronounces, she articulates, she sends the words out to every part of the hall or across the garden of the Champs-Elysées, she pierces the clouds of tobacco smoke, the vapours of alcohol, and the smog of human breath. Each syllable comes to us like an arrow shot from throat, teeth, and tongue, borne on a wave of clear, transparent sound, at once firm and frail, like a vibrating crystal.

Guilbert recognised the value of self-promotion through image and thus her long association with Lautrec benefited both. Here, she appears as a white faced phantom with her unusual angular face and painfully thin body, wearing her signature long black gloves.

Yvette Guilbert was one of Lautrec’s favourite singers – a distinctive performer who half sang and half spoke the songs of the Parisian demi-monde. Like Lautrec, the critic Gustave Geffroy was captivated by Guilbert:  

She pronounces, she articulates, she sends the words out to every part of the hall or across the garden of the Champs-Elysées, she pierces the clouds of tobacco smoke, the vapours of alcohol, and the smog of human breath. Each syllable comes to us like an arrow shot from throat, teeth, and tongue, borne on a wave of clear, transparent sound, at once firm and frail, like a vibrating crystal.

Guilbert recognised the value of self-promotion through image and thus her long association with Lautrec benefited both. Here, she appears as a white faced phantom with her unusual angular face and painfully thin body, wearing her signature long black gloves.



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