Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC | La revue blanche

Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
artist France 1864 – 1901

La revue blanche [Poster: La revue blanche] 1895 planographic , brush, crayon and spatter lithograph, printed in four colours on wove paper with linen backing
124.6 (h) x 90.8 (w) cm
edition between 1000 and 3000
signed lower left, printed from the stone in green ink, 'HTL' monogram dated lower left, printed from the stone in green ink, '95'
Reference: Wittrock P16 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra NGA 1975.254 Purchased 1975
  • Purchased by the Australian National Gallery, from Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne, October 1975.

La Revue blanche was a Parisian periodical initially established by the Belgian poet Paul Leclercq. From October 1891 the two brothers Alexandre and Thadée Natanson joined the organisation and it was under their editorial direction that the publication continued until 1903. La Revue blanche was the foremost avant-garde journal of the day and, circulating on a monthly basis, within its 48 pages it published the work of leading writers and significant artists, and held the Naturalist approach to everyday life in high regard:

we love above all that literature, young and powerful, those pages that one feels palpitating with life, those authors whose faithful reproductions of reality mark what has come to be called ‘the new school’.[1]

Alongside discussions of art, theatre, music, sport and politics, the writers Henrik Ibsen, Gustave Flaubert, Maurice Maeterlinck, Stéphane Mallarmé, Marcel Proust, Stendahl, August Strindberg, Anton Pavlovich Chekov, Leo Tolstoy and Paul Verlaine were all published; along with Japanese prints and the works of Edvard Munch, Odilon Redon and Lautrec. However particular focus was placed on the works of the Nabis, including Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Paul Ranson, Henri Gabriel Ibels and Paul Sérusier. All of these artists shared an avid interest in depicting Paris and establishing themselves as painters of modern life. Vuillard recalled in 1931: ‘The Revue blanche brought us all together – painters, critics, singers, writers – the whole Montmartre group.’[2]

In 1895 Lautrec was commissioned by the Natansons to produce a poster advertising La Revue blanche and he chose as his subject Misia Godebska, Thadée Natanson’s wife. In the initial design Misia was shown ice skating, leaning to her right and gliding across the image with her left arm trailing. Lautrec subsequently cropped the image and removed all background detail in order to enhance the figure. In the final design of the poster Misia is shown in a full-length blue spotted dress, wearing a hat with a black band and sheer veil topped with an elaborate display of ostrich feathers. Her fur stole and muff are adorned with orange starburst features and on her right wrist she shows off a serpent-like armlet of an oriental design. She is the epitome of sophistication, a youthful, cultured and striking woman; and Lautrec leaves us in no doubt as to why Misia had become the muse of many of the Nabis artists associated with Le Revue blanche, particularly Vuillard who had fallen in love with her and subsequently made her the subject of many of his works.

JB

 

[1] Grace Seiberling and Brett Waller, Artists of La Revue blanche: Bonnard, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vallotton, Vuillard, New York: Memorial Art Gallery, The University of Rochester, 1984, p. 9.

[2] Quoted in Seiberling and Waller, p. 17.

La Revue blanche was a Parisian periodical initially established by the Belgian poet Paul Leclercq. From October 1891 the two brothers Alexandre and Thadée Natanson joined the organisation and it was under their editorial direction that the publication continued until 1903. La Revue blanche was the foremost avant-garde journal of the day and, circulating on a monthly basis, within its 48 pages it published the work of leading writers and significant artists, and held the Naturalist approach to everyday life in high regard:

we love above all that literature, young and powerful, those pages that one feels palpitating with life, those authors whose faithful reproductions of reality mark what has come to be called ‘the new school’.[1]

Alongside discussions of art, theatre, music, sport and politics, the writers Henrik Ibsen, Gustave Flaubert, Maurice Maeterlinck, Stéphane Mallarmé, Marcel Proust, Stendahl, August Strindberg, Anton Pavlovich Chekov, Leo Tolstoy and Paul Verlaine were all published; along with Japanese prints and the works of Edvard Munch, Odilon Redon and Lautrec. However particular focus was placed on the works of the Nabis, including Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Paul Ranson, Henri Gabriel Ibels and Paul Sérusier. All of these artists shared an avid interest in depicting Paris and establishing themselves as painters of modern life. Vuillard recalled in 1931: ‘The Revue blanche brought us all together – painters, critics, singers, writers – the whole Montmartre group.’[2]

In 1895 Lautrec was commissioned by the Natansons to produce a poster advertising La Revue blanche and he chose as his subject Misia Godebska, Thadée Natanson’s wife. In the initial design Misia was shown ice skating, leaning to her right and gliding across the image with her left arm trailing. Lautrec subsequently cropped the image and removed all background detail in order to enhance the figure. In the final design of the poster Misia is shown in a full-length blue spotted dress, wearing a hat with a black band and sheer veil topped with an elaborate display of ostrich feathers. Her fur stole and muff are adorned with orange starburst features and on her right wrist she shows off a serpent-like armlet of an oriental design. She is the epitome of sophistication, a youthful, cultured and striking woman; and Lautrec leaves us in no doubt as to why Misia had become the muse of many of the Nabis artists associated with Le Revue blanche, particularly Vuillard who had fallen in love with her and subsequently made her the subject of many of his works.

JB

 

[1] Grace Seiberling and Brett Waller, Artists of La Revue blanche: Bonnard, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vallotton, Vuillard, New York: Memorial Art Gallery, The University of Rochester, 1984, p. 9.

[2] Quoted in Seiberling and Waller, p. 17.

La Revue blanche was a Parisian periodical initially established by the Belgian poet Paul Leclercq. From October 1891 the two brothers Alexandre and Thadée Natanson joined the organisation and it was under their editorial direction that the publication continued until 1903. La Revue blanche was the foremost avant-garde journal of the day and, circulating on a monthly basis, within its 48 pages it published the work of leading writers and significant artists, and held the Naturalist approach to everyday life in high regard:

we love above all that literature, young and powerful, those pages that one feels palpitating with life, those authors whose faithful reproductions of reality mark what has come to be called ‘the new school’.[1]

Alongside discussions of art, theatre, music, sport and politics, the writers Henrik Ibsen, Gustave Flaubert, Maurice Maeterlinck, Stéphane Mallarmé, Marcel Proust, Stendahl, August Strindberg, Anton Pavlovich Chekov, Leo Tolstoy and Paul Verlaine were all published; along with Japanese prints and the works of Edvard Munch, Odilon Redon and Lautrec. However particular focus was placed on the works of the Nabis, including Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Paul Ranson, Henri Gabriel Ibels and Paul Sérusier. All of these artists shared an avid interest in depicting Paris and establishing themselves as painters of modern life. Vuillard recalled in 1931: ‘The Revue blanche brought us all together – painters, critics, singers, writers – the whole Montmartre group.’[2]

In 1895 Lautrec was commissioned by the Natansons to produce a poster advertising La Revue blanche and he chose as his subject Misia Godebska, Thadée Natanson’s wife. In the initial design Misia was shown ice skating, leaning to her right and gliding across the image with her left arm trailing. Lautrec subsequently cropped the image and removed all background detail in order to enhance the figure. In the final design of the poster Misia is shown in a full-length blue spotted dress, wearing a hat with a black band and sheer veil topped with an elaborate display of ostrich feathers. Her fur stole and muff are adorned with orange starburst features and on her right wrist she shows off a serpent-like armlet of an oriental design. She is the epitome of sophistication, a youthful, cultured and striking woman; and Lautrec leaves us in no doubt as to why Misia had become the muse of many of the Nabis artists associated with Le Revue blanche, particularly Vuillard who had fallen in love with her and subsequently made her the subject of many of his works.

JB

 

[1] Grace Seiberling and Brett Waller, Artists of La Revue blanche: Bonnard, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vallotton, Vuillard, New York: Memorial Art Gallery, The University of Rochester, 1984, p. 9.

[2] Quoted in Seiberling and Waller, p. 17.



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