Limited editions of great masters.
Henri de Toulous-Lautrec Amazone et tonneau (Adr. 286; W. 301) lithograph, 1898, on laid paper with an elaborate proprietary watermark, from the only edition of twenty impressions, with wide margins, a rust spot on the reverse towards the left of the subject (just showing through), otherwise in extremely good condition
- £10,000 – £15,000
- ($19,630 – $29,445)
- SALE 7388 —
- OLD MASTER, 19TH CENTURY, MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY PRINTS
- 28 March 2007
- London, King Street
Today’s valuation – £18-25,000
Versions do vary in size.
Signed original Toulouse-Lautrec lithographs, drawings, and etchings are very collectible. With his use of bold, simplified, non-naturalistic color, this French painter offers a unique angle on Impressionism.
Deftly working on the multiple stones required to make a lithograph of more than one color, he developed a distinctive graphic style characterized by a bright palette, attenuated forms, and expressive line. His inventive methods of spraying ink onto the printing surface to create mists of color and employing metallic powders result in dazzling atmospheric effects. In these works, he offers an insider’s view of Paris’s underbelly, where different classes intermingle and spectacle has a place both on and off stage. Matching the modernity of his subjects with an unmistakably modern style, he defined the image of fin-de-siècle Paris for all subsequent generations.
To contemporary viewers, Toulouse-Lautrec’s inclusion of recognizable figures in his scenes of famous Parisian nightspots added another level of interest. The cropping of the image enhances the sense of immediacy by bringing the viewer into the conversation between the two protagonists. The man’s inclined posture and leering expression make clear the nature of their exchange.
Lautrec’s careful choice of media and subject matter can be understood as an assault on the very ideals likely held by the people who found his work, and the culture it reflected, so appealing and in many ways finds new appeal and parallels in modern urban lifestyles today. Through his extensive use of posters and lithography, as well as his portrayals of lower-class scenes on impermanent surfaces such as cardboard, Lautrec effectively subverts nearly every established convention associated with painting and chooses to rely upon a secondary practice as his main area of production. – When he did paint on canvas, he primed it in a brown hue so it would mimic the appearance of cardboard, thus giving it an air of disposability.
Lautrec represents a break within a break with tradition marking him as one of the most extraordinary and bravest of modern era 19th century artists. In the rare edition of 20 prints, Amazone et Tonneau seems entirely divorced from his usual subject matter.
In this image he depicts the moment when all seems to briefly pause. The curvaceous profile of the woman atop the magnificent horse is caped with a chic hat and slightly harsh yet pert posture: crop in hand. The forcefulness of her command cannot be missed save for the Jack Russel that larks at the foot of the scene below the two chiding horses.
There we see the joyful interaction between the massive steed and the shorter, pony. They nuzzle and engage of course regardless of distinction, prejudice or class.
The impression depicts the street level antics and the haughty domination of the higher affluent class, thrown together with the most delicious flourish of rhythmical render.
One of 20 original impressions this remains one of Lautrec’s most prized editions with 2 remaining in public collections today.