About this artwork
The dancer Jane Avril was one of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s closest friends and favorite subjects. Here, though, she is depicted as a spectator, carefully observing the performance of her rival, Yvette Guilbert, at the Divan Japonais club. Montmartre’s nightclub owners lured in potential customers with the notoriety of their (often female) performers, who were typically expected to entertain their audiences both on and off the stage. Avril’s striking black dress and hat stand in stark contrast to the vivid colors and ruffled petticoats she wore while dancing. Even as an audience member, however, she remains on display both to her male companion and to viewers of the poster.
- Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
- Divan Japonais
- Color lithograph on cream wove paper
- 801 × 601 mm (image); 802 × 618 mm (sheet)
- Mr. and Mrs. Carter H. Harrison Collection