About This Artwork

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
French, 1864-1901

Moulin de la Galette, 1889

Oil on canvas
35 7/8 x 39 5/8 in. (88.5 x 101.3 cm)
Inscribed lower left: HT Lautrec

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection, 1933.458

Dortu P. 335

With this painting of the dance hall known as the Moulin de la Galette, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec established his reputation as the painter-chronicler of the entertainments of Montmartre. In this well-known image, Lautrec employed the wood barrier as a metaphorical divide between the frenzied action of the dance hall, seen as a blur in the background, and the stillness of the bored and waiting women (accompanied by a proprietary male) in the foreground. He used turpentine to thin his paint and applied it in loose washes, a technique known as peinture à l’essence. The result is a seemingly unfinished look that suggests both the immediacy of the artist’s observations and the dinginess of his subject.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Exposition des Indépendants, 1889, cat. 257.

Brussels, Salon des XX, 1890.

Paris, Salon des Arts Libéraux, 1891.

Paris, Galerie Goupil, Exposition, 1893.

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, H. de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1902, cat. 71, as Le Bal du Moulin de la Galette.

Paris, Musée des Arts Decoratifs,Peintures et Lithographies originales de H. de Toulouse Lautrec 1864-1901, January 24-February 20, cat. 2.

Paris, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Exposition Retrospective de l’oeuvre de H. de Toulouse-Lautrec, June 15-July 11, 1914, p. 15 cat. 76 as Au Moulin de la Galette.

Chicago, Art Institute, Arts Club, Catalogue of an Exhibition of Paintings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, December 23, 1924-January 25, 1925, cat. 6 as Moulin de la Galette.

Chicago, Art Institute, Loan Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings, Prints and Posters by Toulouse-Lautrec, December 23, 1930-January 18, 1931, pp. 16, 62 cat. 9 (ill.) as A Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, 1889.

Chicago, Art Institute, Exhibition of the Mrs. L. L. Coburn Collection: Modern Paintings & Water Colors, April 6-October 9, 1932, pp. 6, 8, 24 cat. 37 as A Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, 1889.

Chicago, Art Institute, Catalogue of A Century of Progress Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, Lent from American Collections, June 1-November 1, 1933, p. 53 cat. 372 as A Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, 1889.

Chicago, Art Institute, Catalogue of A Century of Progress Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1-November 1, 1934, p. 50 cat. 327 as A Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, 1889.

St. Louis, City Art Museum, Toulouse-Lautrec, December 1934.

Washington, D.C., Phillips Memorial Art Gallery, Toulouse-Lautrec, January-March 1939.

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, Paintings, Drawings, Prints and Posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864-1901, March 6-April 20, 1947, p. 13 cat. 14 (ill.) as Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, 1889.

Kansas City, Nelson Gallery of Art, 20th Anniversary Exhibition, December 11-31, 1953), cat. 7.

Philadelphia, Museum of Art, Toulouse-Lautrec [exhibition organized in collaboration with the Albi Museum], October 29-December 11, 1955, cat. 15 (ill.) as At the Moulin de la Galette, 1889; traveled to Chicago, Art Institute, January 2-February 15, 1956.

New York, Museum of Modern Art, Toulouse-Lautrec: Paintings, Drawings, Posters and Lithographs, March 20-May 6, 1956, pp. 4, 10, 45 cat. 12 (ill.) as At the Moulin de la Galette, 1888.

Paris, Palais du Louvre, Toulouse-Lautrec Exhibition, September 1964-January 1965, cat. 28.

Pittsburgh, Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Celebration: Inaugural Exhibition of the Sarah Scaife Gallery of the Museum of Art, October 26, 1974-January 5, 1975, n.p. cat. 15 as Moulin de la Galette, 1889.

Chicago, Art Institute, Toulouse-Lautrec: Paintings (October 4-December 2, 1979), pp. 142-146 cat. 38 (ill.) as Au bal du Moulin de la Galette/The dance hall at the Moulin de la Galette, 1889.

Albi, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Trésors Iimpressionistes du Musée de Chicago, June 27-August 31, 1980, pp. 21, 69 cat. 39 (ill.) as Le Moulin de la Galette, 1889.

Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, Van Gogh and the Birth of Cloisonism, January 23-March 22, 1981, pp. 338, 339 cat. 121 (ill.) as The Ball at the Moulin de la Galette, 1889; traveled to Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, April 9-June 14, 1981.

Leningrad, The State Hermitage Museum, Ot Delakrua do Matissa: Tbshedevry Frantsuzskoi zhivpici XIX-Nachala XX veka, iz ueieia Metropoliten v Niu-Iorke i Khudozhestvennogo Instituta v Chikago, March 15-May 10, 1988, cat. 39; traveled to Moscow, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, June 10-July 30, 1988.

London, Hayward Gallery, Toulouse-Lautrec, October 10, 1991-January 19, 1992, p. 241-243 cat. 64 (ill.) as Bal du Moulin de la Galette/At the Moulin de la Galette dance-hall; traveled to Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, February 18-June 1, 1992.

Washington, D.C., The National Gallery, Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre, March 20-June 12, 2005, pp. 110, 113, 118, 256 fig. 126 (ill.) as Moulin de la Galette, 1889; traveled to Chicago, Art Chicago, July 16-October 10, 2005.

Fort Worth, Tex., Kimbell Museum of Art, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–November 2, 2008, cat. 61 (ill.).

Publication History

M. G. Dortu, "Toulouse-Lautrec et son oeuvre." (New York, 1971, no. 335).

Dominique Jarrassé, "Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa: Entre le mythe et la modernité." Paris, Philippe Sers, 1991, plate 18 (color).

Gale B. Murray, "Toulouse-Lautrec: The Formative Years, 1878-92." Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991, fig. 109 (color).

Gale B. Murray, "Toulouse-Lautrec: A Retrospective." (New York: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc., 1992), illustrated in color p. 95.

The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (New Haven and London, 2008), cat. 61, pp. 130-31 (ill.).

Ownership History

Joseph Albert. Mme Montandon, Paris, by February 1890. Paul Gallimard, Paris. Paul Rosenberg by 1924 [see Chicago 1924/5]; Annie Swan Coburn (Mrs. Lewis L. Coburn), Chicago; bequeathed to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1933




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