Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC | Bed [Le lit]

Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
France 1864 – 1901

Bed [Le lit] 1898 oil on wood panel
41.6 (h) x 32.1 (w) cm
Reference: Dortu P.669 Collection of Ann and Gordon Getty

Edouard Manet’s famous painting of a prostitute, Olympia, was exhibited at the Louvre to wide acclaim in 1889. Staring confidently out at the viewer, Olympiashamelessly presents her body. Manet’s elevation of the prostitute to a position of sexual idol is far from Lautrec’s interpretation. In contrast, this prostitute is painted as a vulnerable woman, her half-naked figure turned away and her gaze averted. Lautrec has grounded this working woman firmly in contemporary reality, showing her as she really was.

Edouard Manet’s famous painting of a prostitute, Olympia, was exhibited at the Louvre to wide acclaim in 1889. Staring confidently out at the viewer, Olympiashamelessly presents her body. Manet’s elevation of the prostitute to a position of sexual idol is far from Lautrec’s interpretation. In contrast, this prostitute is painted as a vulnerable woman, her half-naked figure turned away and her gaze averted. Lautrec has grounded this working woman firmly in contemporary reality, showing her as she really was.

Edouard Manet’s famous painting of a prostitute, Olympia, was exhibited at the Louvre to wide acclaim in 1889. Staring confidently out at the viewer, Olympiashamelessly presents her body. Manet’s elevation of the prostitute to a position of sexual idol is far from Lautrec’s interpretation. In contrast, this prostitute is painted as a vulnerable woman, her half-naked figure turned away and her gaze averted. Lautrec has grounded this working woman firmly in contemporary reality, showing her as she really was.



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