Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC | L'Assommoir

Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
France 1864 – 1901

L'Assommoir 1900 oil on paper laid down on cradled panel on cradled panel
55.1 (h) x 43.7 (w) cm
Reference: Dortu P.713 Mugrabi Collection

L’Assommoir was the title of Emile Zola’s most popular novel, the story of the rise and fall of Gervaise Macquart, a young woman who struggled from poverty only to finally succumb to alcohol. Here the frail figure of Gervaise hovers in the background, the narrative of despair heightened by the dark palette and the bold outlines of the figures. This work marks a return to Lautrec’s earlier theme of lone drinkers in bars and captures the grim reality of poverty in Paris at the turn of the century.

L’Assommoir was the title of Emile Zola’s most popular novel, the story of the rise and fall of Gervaise Macquart, a young woman who struggled from poverty only to finally succumb to alcohol. Here the frail figure of Gervaise hovers in the background, the narrative of despair heightened by the dark palette and the bold outlines of the figures. This work marks a return to Lautrec’s earlier theme of lone drinkers in bars and captures the grim reality of poverty in Paris at the turn of the century.

L’Assommoir was the title of Emile Zola’s most popular novel, the story of the rise and fall of Gervaise Macquart, a young woman who struggled from poverty only to finally succumb to alcohol. Here the frail figure of Gervaise hovers in the background, the narrative of despair heightened by the dark palette and the bold outlines of the figures. This work marks a return to Lautrec’s earlier theme of lone drinkers in bars and captures the grim reality of poverty in Paris at the turn of the century.



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