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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec French, 1864
lithograph on wove paper 55.5 x 37.5 cm; image: 35.5 x 24.8 cm Purchased 1968
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15738)
Late nineteenth-century Paris not only witnessed innovation in the visual arts, but also nurtured new ideas in dance, theatre, and the café concert. The Montmartre entertainer Marcelle Lender rose to stardom in roles that featured her distinctive style of physical dance. Toulouse-Lautrec apparently saw her twenty times in the comic operetta "Chilpéric" and was especially taken with her bolero performance. This lithograph highlights Lender’s slender and expressive figure. The lighting on her face from below and the Spanish flavour of her costume suggest that this image may also represent a scene from "Chilpéric".