Toulouse Lautrec: Marcelle Lender in Chilpéric

(18 December 1994 - 2 April 1995)

Florence E. Coman, Assistant Curator of French Paintings

Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in Chilpéric , 1895-1896 Oil on canvas. Gift (Partial and Promised) of Betsey Cushing Whitney in Honor of John Hay Whitney, for the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art.1990.127.1 (Dortu P. 627)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was and remains a remarkable paradox. Scion of an ancient aristocratic family, he spent his adult life among the common people of Paris and Montmartre, even taking rooms in a brothel, and he made the city's seamy night life, cafés, cabarets, dance halls, and theater the principal subject of his art. In the 1860s during the renovation of Paris, Baron Haussmann's razing of the slums had marginalized Montmartre, which became established by the 1890s as an enclave famous for its naughty nightly revelry; the community flourished with the tourist trade attracted by advertisements in the popular press and by eye-catching posters. Lautrec's painting Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric" (fig. 1) "chronicles the spirit, style, and spectacle of the nineties, and underscores Lautrec's fascination with the ambiguous boundaries between art and artifice and between 'high' and 'low' art." 1 This work, along with his related paintings, drawings, and lithographs, embodies the artist's ultimately egalitarian vision of life and art.

Lautrec became intensely involved with the theater through the drama critic Romain Coolus, with whom he worked at the avant-garde magazine La Revue Blanche . 2 Lautrec's interest in theater also had its roots in his association with the Nabis artists, whom he had met as a student in the 1880s. The Nabis (from the Hebrew word for "prophet") included Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, and Félix Vallotton, and their nonnaturalistic works featured asymmetrical surface patterns and a restricted range of color. Lautrec collaborated with them in productions at the most innovative theaters in Paris, designing posters, theater programs, scenery, and costumes. He also desig ned sets for the January 1895 production of an obscure Hindu drama, Le Chariot de Terre cuite , at the Théâtre de l'OEuvre. About 1896 the Nabis and Lautrec gradually dissociated themselves from avant-garde theatrical productions. Unlike the Nabis, however, Lautrec continued to respond to the gaudy allure of the popular stage. Lautrec deliberately d istanced himself from the obscure effects and allusive, recondite meanings of the Nabis. Living with the extremes of the social spectrum, he addressed his art to the broader public, intending that his work be accessible to all--direct, vividly characterize d, and immediately appealing.

Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric," one of Lautrec's largest paintings, is the most monumental and important of his theatrical subjects. In it he conveys the artificial glamour of the stage and the sultry energy of the performers, especially the singer-dancer Marcelle Lender. This painting is the fullest expression of his interest in the theater, which, along with the informal theatrics of the Montmartre dance halls, occupied Lautrec's life and art during the 1890s.

Between 1 February and 1 May 1895 the Théâtre des Variétés in Paris presented a sensational revival of the operetta Chilpéric . The production's array of musical stars and extravagant scenery and costumes made it an overnight hit. Although heralded in the press at the time, the farcical operetta is virtually forgotten today; its most vivid reminders come from Lautrec, a keen obse rver of Parisian nightlife, who was so enthralled by the spectacle that he attended numerous performances. Watching intently from the audience, he sketched the faces and movements of the performers in notebooks he habitually carried. Those thumbnail sketch es became the basis for his lithographs of the stage and performers later that year and for two paintings of 1896, one focusing on Marcelle Lender and the other depicting a grandiose vision of her performance.

When Chilpéric was originally presented in Paris almost two decades earlier, in October 1868, it was called an " opéra bouffe ," or musical farce, by Hervé, who had composed both music and libretto. 3 Hervé and Jacques Offenbach, among the earliest exponents of the evolving theatrical form now known as operetta, were chiefly responsible for developing the genre into an immensely popular entertainment during the mid-nineteenth century. Hervé was often h is own producer and a leading performer in his operettas; he directed the original production of Chilpéric at the Théâtre des Folies-Dramatique in Paris and sang the title role.

Hervé took the subject of his operetta from early French history. According to nineteenth-century historians, Chilpéric was king of the Franks from 561 to 584, a soldier king who warred with his brothers over the division of their father's kingdom. To bols ter his claim, Chilpéric allied himself with the Visigoths in Spain by marrying the princess Galswinthe. His goals attained, he conspired with his mistress Frédégonde to murder Galswinthe. 4 In Hervé's hands this gory political account became a rollicking farce. Tailoring national history not to heroic, inspiring epic but to burlesque, he satirized grand opera, especially the work of Richard Wagner. Caricatures of grandiose operatic melodies echo throughout the score, and the concluding act of Chilpéric opens with an extended parody of Wagner's Lohengrin .

In the first act the shepherd Landry and his beloved Frédégonde sing of the king as they wait in a forest to glimpse the royal hunting party. The hunt enters, headed by King Chilpéric on horseback, accompanied by his brother Sigibert, his sister-in-law Bru nehaut, and other courtiers. Landry and Frédégonde are discovered and brought to the king, who admires Frédégonde and appoints her his laundress and Landry his majordomo. They follow the procession to his palace.

As the second act opens, we learn that Frédégonde has become the king's mistress, while Landry is enamored of Brunehaut. Chilpéric, however, has tired of Frédégonde and in a lively duet dismisses her in order to marry the Spanish princess Galswinthe. The k ing's court celebrates Galswinthe's arrival with spirited song and dance, and Galswinthe replies by performing a bolero that recounts a tale of extravagant love and despair, conveying the flavor of her native Spain to her royal suitor and his followers (th is is the moment depicted in the Whitney painting, with Marcelle Lender in the role of Galswinthe). The festivities are interrupted by Frédégonde pulling a cart piled high with her possessions and singing a plaintive ballad about the ingratitude of kings. The lazy court physician assigned to speed her departure hops onto the cart but upends it, strewing its contents on the ground. The king and his court, banging her pots and pans, then perform a chaotic dance to a frenzied orchestral accompaniment.

A nuptial duet in the royal couple's bedroom opens the third act, but affairs of state intrude and Chilpéric departs with his entourage in a procession lighted by torches. Galswinthe performs a fandango then retires to the marriage bed, where Frédégonde fi nds her and triggers a trap door, casting her into the dungeons. After rescuing Galswinthe and returning to battle, the victorious Chilpéric pardons Frédégonde, and the operetta concludes with an old Gallic chorus.

As historical recreations, farce and operetta with remote settings allowed greater freedom of expression in the nineteenth century than was possible with nearcontemporary subjects. Viewers of the original production would have seen more in this complex plo t than its farcical content. Hervé created daring parallels between his fictionalized ruler and France's current monarch, Emperor Napoleon III, who, like Chilpéric, ended a relationship with a mistress when he married a Spanish noblewoman, Eugénie de Monti jo de Guzman. 5 Before 1868 ended, the success of Hervé's comic masterpiece was recognized with the appearance on Parisian stages of two parodies, La Chilpérichole and Chiméric -the latter organized by Hervé himself.

Lautrec attended the 1895 revival of Chilpéric at the Théâtre des Variétés at 7 Boulevard Montmartre, 6 where the auditorium had three balconies rising above the orchestra section that could seat more than 1,200. The steeply raked stage was almost as deep as the auditorium and was separated from it by a shallow musicians' pit and a proscenium arch sufficiently wide to provide box seating on both sides of the stage. In 1882 the Théâtre des Variétés became the first Parisian theater equipped with electric lighting, 7 a welcome innovation in an era when theater lights posed a serious fire hazard. The quality of the illumination differed significantly from gaslight, producing "incomparably soft" effects. At the Variétés the footlights became an important component of sta ge illumination, making theater lighting more flexible, allowing house lights to be dimmed during performances, and imparting the distinctive green tinge evident in Lautrec's masterwork.

Fernand Samuel became the manager of the Théâtre des Variétés in 1891, and it was under his guidance that Hervé's operetta Chilpéric was revived in 1895. Settings and costumes were usually minimal, so the lavishness of this production ensured immediate critical and public attention. 8 The set for the second act was particularly elaborate, with Chilpéric's throne placed on a large dais under a spreading red canopy at the left and the rest of the ceremonial chamber defined by a colonnade and an arcade opening to a lush garden at the rear . Costumes for the king and court were pseudo-medieval in style, while Galswinthe and her retinue--including her brother in a matador's apparel--were dressed in nineteenth-century Spanish garb. The cast, including extras, numbered close to ninety, 9 with lead roles given to stars of the Variétés troupe. Notices appeared just days after the premiere advising the public that performances were sold out until mid-March. The eventual run of more than one hundred performances was lengthy for the period.

Marcelle Lender
Lautrec was fascinated by Marcelle Lender, but the red-haired actress did not reciprocate. She complained that he had failed to compliment her performance when he was introduced to her backstage. 10 In fact, Lautrec's interest was in her appearance; he was as indifferent to her stagecraft as she was to his art: "the frightful man!" she exclaimed, "...he indeed loves me....But the painting, you can have it." 11

Lautrec first encountered Marcelle Lender in her performance of the operetta Madame Satan , which opened at the Variétés in 1893, 12 the year he began to attend the theater regularly. She became his subject in three lithographs: Mlle Lender in "Madame Satan," At the Variétés: Mlle Lender and Brasseur , and Mlle Lender and Baron . 13 Although Lautrec worked in lithography only occasionally starting in 1891, his prints were soon prized by astute collectors. His ability to convey the expressive features of the performers directly and legibly using a soft line and spatter ( crachis ) technique also made his work ideal for distribution in newspapers, magazines, and as posters.

Lautrec's next documented encounter with Marcelle Lender was in Chilpéric . His friend Coolus wrote an anecdotal reminiscence on the thirtieth anniversary of Lautrec's death in 1901 that is the sole eyewitness account of the artist's obsession with Lender in Chilpéric : " the winter...he compelled me to accompany him twenty times to the Théâtre des Variétés to attend performances of Chilpéric by Hervé, which had just been revived. The beautiful Marcelle Lender played an important role and she was dressed, or rather undressed, in such a fashion that every muscle of her back could be scrutinized by the opera glasses. A bit tired of hearing the f amous chorus... for the sixth time, I asked Lautrec the reason he insisted on my regularly accompanying him to hear such obvious gush. 'I come strictly in order to see Lender's back,' he said. 'Look at it carefully; you seldom see anything so magnificent. Lender's back is sumptuous.' " 14 Lautrec's friend Maurice Joyant described the artist's routine of arriving nightly at the theater at the same time and occupying the same seat to observe and sketch Marcelle Lender's performance of the bolero. 15

"Chilpéric" Drawings
Lautrec preserved the exuberant flavor of the song and dance in pencil drawings hastily scrawled in his notebooks. Although more than 4,000 drawings have been catalogued from every phase of his career, most are so loose and schematic that even works from h is theatrical notebooks are unrecognizable as any specific individual or production, and the lack of inscriptions compounds the difficulty. Seventeen drawings of Lender have been identified. 16 They were not preparatory in the traditional sense, and the artist does not appear to have had a particular project in view. Rather, like Degas, whom he admired, Lautrec created drawings that became a repertory of images for him to consult at need.

Five drawings are figure studies, delineating the elegance of Lender's posture, her arms poised and holding castanets, or concentrating on her swirling skirts and legs, clad in black stockings, as she performed the bolero. The artist had an uncanny ability to capture recognizable characteristics in a few notations. One of these studies (fig. 2) became the source for Lender's pose in the definitive painting Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric." Another (fig. 3) from the same notebook is so freely drawn that it would be nearly unrecognizable without the companion drawing. The balance of the Lender drawings focus on her face, usually noting the effect of the footlights. Showing Lender from varying points of view, the drawings fix Lautrec's location in the auditorium toward the front of the orchestra section.

Lender posed in the artist's studio when Chilpéric closed. As she recalled, "before anything else he arranged folding screens in order to light my shoulders suitably. Then he asked that I sing the refrain, ' Il est dix heures... ' And...he has me repeat it five times, ten times, often more during a single sitting. Toward the end I asked, 'Don't you want me to sing something else?' 'No, no, this couplet, I know it, and thus won't be distracted by the words as I work, while a new re frain...' 'Do you want me to be silent?' 'Oh no! Because your singing makes your skin scintillate imperceptibly in the light,' " an effect Lautrec was said to be studying. 17

Lautrec's most remarkable drawing of Lender (fig. 4) was executed on a larger sheet of paper than the others, in pencil, with blue highlights for the eyes. In this bravura drawing a multitude of emphatic strokes in the costume and headdress echo the sensuous, curving line of Lender's brows, lips, and neckli ne. This portrait differs significantly from the other drawings and is unlike any of the Lender lithographs and paintings; it was surely a result of Lender's posing in Lautrec's studio.

"Chilpéric" Lithographs
Nine of Lautrec's lithographs depict performances of Chilpéric , including four versions of the bust-length portrait of Marcelle Lender published by Julius MeierGraefe in his Berlin journal, Pan , founded in 18--. 18 It would be reasonable to posit some project, perhaps a print folio, for which Lautrec intended these works, but none has yet been discovered. None of the lithographs was commissioned. Indeed, Lautrec was so determined to create them that he bore all the expenses associated with their design and printing. He also executed them relatively quickly. In May 1895 he could include the color version of the portrait bust in an exhibition and sale at Galerie Laffitte, Paris, 19 only days after the last performances of Chilpéric at the Théâtre des Variétés.

Lautrec developed the color lithograph in several stages. His signature on the lighter of two impressions of the third state, 20 a monochrome edition, may signify his preference for its subtle nuance. The artist collaborated with his printer, Henry Stern, and his dealer, publisher Edouard Kleinmann, 21 to produce the final color print, a technically complex layering of eight different colored inks (fig. 5) . The color scheme is opulent, setting Lender's mass of red-orange hair against the pink and red of her flower headdress and the yellow pattern in the background, and emphasizing the white expanse of her cheeks and bosom, lighted from below, with a fine re d outline describing her lips and profile. A diaphanous spatter of yellow and red creates the orange shadow falling across Lender's forehead.

The print is a visual tour de force that was widely distributed and lauded. One impression was trimmed for binding into the magazine Pan and published in September 1895 with a brief appreciation of Lautrec by critic Arsène Alexandre. 22 Pan then issued a deluxe edition for its French subscribers. On one impression in the Rosenwald Collection the artist's yellow-orange device stamped at the lower left and the adjacent inscribed number are characteristic of the edition. 23

Five prints show performances of Chilpéric : they are Entrance of Brasseur in "Chilpéric," Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric" (fig. 6) , Lender Full Face in "Chilpéric," Lender from the Back Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric" (fig. 7) , and Lender Bowing . 24 Disdaining informational text on prints, Lautrec depicted famous moments from the operetta, vignettes that his contemporaries could have recognized. Entrance of Brasseur adroitly conveys the burlesque content of the operetta. In a mock-heroic tableau the star performer Albert Brasseur in the role of Chilpéric, has just arrived onstage, jauntily perched astride a dispirited white nag, to the accompaniment of a troop of buff oonish soldiers, their mouths open in song. In contrast to the broad humor of the hunting scene, Galswinthe's bolero was a straightforward showcase for Lender, and those four lithographs are appropriately glamorous star vehicles depicting her song and danc e. In Lender Full Face she seems to be singing. In Lender Dancing she dances across the front of the stage, castanets extended, and twists to look out to the audience. In Lender from the Back the decolletage of her dress exposes her back, which Lautrec so admired, lithely swaying to the music. Lender Bowing marks the conclusion of her dance.

These five lithographs were probably conceived at the same time. They were all printed by Stern in dark olive green in on good-quality, cream-colored paper, and all were issued in limited editions. The dimensions of the images are roughly equal, and the sc ale of the figures is generally consistent. Lautrec worked each image in similar fashion, covering the entire surface of his lithographic stones. He used the soft tip of the greasy drawing implement to delineate the figures, exerting varying pressure to di minish or intensify the darks; he used its broad edge for areas of scumble, as in the background of Lender Bowing and for the prompter's box in the lower right corner of Lender Dancing . He used the spatter technique for the prompter's box and the atmospheric background in Lender from the Back and made limited use of scraping, employing a fine tool to animate some of the denser areas. In Lender Full Face , for instance, the fine white lines that articulate Lender's lips, nostrils, eyes, and brows were produced with a scraper.

Chilpéric closed at the Théâtre des Variétés on Wednesday, 1 May 1895. The next night the Variétés opened a double bill featuring the three-act Les Pantins de Madame by Albin Valabrègue and a one-act operetta, La Chanson de Fortunio , with the libretto by H. Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy and score by Offenbach. Lender starred in Fortunio with Numa Auguez, and Lautrec evinced his continuing admiration for the actress in the lithograph Lender and Auguez in "La Chanson de Fortunio." 25 The artist's use of white is especially remarkable here, silhouetting Auguez against the shadowed Lender. Further lithographic depictions of Lender onstage ensued in 1895. She shares the spotlight in Lender and Lavallière in "Le Fils de l'Aretin" and Lender and Lavallière and appears as a solo performer in Mlle Marcelle Lender Standing and Lender Seated . 26 Lender and Lavallière in "Le Fils de l'Aretin" is the most curious of these lithographs. The oddness of the composition, emphasizing the black-clad Lavallière against the faint image of Lender, has prompted the suggestion that it may be an experimental image combining two separate designs, although th at is unlikely. 27 Lender's costume and the lighting of Lender's face and dress from below are nearly identical to her appearance in Mlle Marcelle Lender Standing and Lender Seated .

Lautrec regarded his paintings and prints as of equal import; all were finished works that fully express the artist's intention. Both drawn and painted studies had preceded Lautrec's execution of earlier lithographs, but with the Marcelle Lender works his method changed. No studies for the Chilpéric compositions exist, and since the artist preserved so many drawings for earlier works, it is unlikely that any were ever made for these. All are independent compositions that seem to have emerged wholly formed from Lautrec's imagination.

"Chilpéric" Paintings
Lautrec completed two paintings of Lender in Chilpéric in 1896, thus following the lithographs by approximately half a year. The first of them, Mlle Marcelle Lender , 28 is more closely related to the lithographs and was probably created earlier than the second. Its vertical format, the figure scale, Lender's hand on hip gesture-similar to one shown in Lender Full Face -and Lender's placement in relation to the pages in the background are all derived from the lithographs. While the lithographs were spare compositions, the painting is a vivid, exuberant, and sensuous description of Lender's translucent pink underskirts an d her highlighted chin, long neck, and bosom. Lautrec shows the long slits in Lender's thin green overskirt that allowed her the freedom of movement necessary for her bolero. Extending an arm, Lender grasps the filmy material as she turns in the dance, in a performance praised for its suggestive allure. Behind her Lautrec briefly indicated two pages and other courtiers in attendance and columns of the stage set.

The painting Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric" (fig. 1) 29 departs significantly from Lautrec's previous depictions of the subject. It encompasses nearly the entire stage and all the principals except Frédégonde, who was then offstage. Chilpéric is shown seated on his throne, flanked by his brother Sigibert and t he Grand Légendaire on his right and by the court physician on his left. The features of the former pair, contorted by sneezing, allude to a running joke concerning the doctor, a quack who claimed to have discovered a cure for the common cold. The king's s ister-in-law Brunehaut stands before the throne, and the shepherd Landry hovers behind her. At the right and behind Galswinthe stands her brother Don Nervoso, his arms akimbo as he ogles Lender's back with unbrotherly attentiveness. In the background two p ages, played by women, 30 seductively imitate his pose while staring at the don from a similar angle. At the center of the stage and the painting Marcelle Lender as Galswinthe executes the vigorous kicks of her bolero, thrusting her long, slender feet forward alternately while hol ding the panels of her overskirt together. Her action creates the vivid apparition of a bright pink flower with black pistil and green outer cover resembling the silk flowers of her headdress.

The chromatic intensity of the painting is astonishing. Lurid pinks and reds clash with each other and contrast with somber greens and blues. The lighter surfaces of flesh, Don Nervoso's shirt and hose, and the arcade in the background are tinged lime gree n by the stage lights. Under such illumination and wearing theatrical makeup, the faces around Lender have exaggerated, almost caricatured expressions that were integral to the overstated farce being performed and depicted. Lender's appearance, too, is a p arody, with her eyebrows soulfully lifted in feigned yearning as she performs the bolero. Lender's scene, a tableau combining elements of farce, burlesque, melodrama, and glamorous appeal, helped make the 1895 Chilpéric production an overnight success.

The Legacy of "Chilpéric"
Lautrec never parted with his painting of Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric," nor was it displayed publicly during his lifetime. He kept it when he changed studios in 1897, and it appears with him in a 1900 photograph of his final studio. 31 If he did offer it to Lender, as has been reported, she rejected it. Lautrec, who assiduously exhibited and sold his lithographs of Lender, kept this quintessential image of the actress and the theater out of public view.

The painting did appear in the background of an 1897 portrait of Henri Nocq (fig. 8) , a Belgian metal craftsman who was a friend of the artist. 32 In the preparatory oil sketch for the painting 33 Nocq stands erect against a barely indicated wall. For the finished portrait, however, Lautrec showed Nocq adjacent to the Whitney painting, which altered the appearance of both. Nocq's posture, his feet splayed and back hunched, echoes Don Nervoso's in t he earlier painting. The space Nocq now occupies has shifted; the bare, sharply receding floorboards of the room imitate the tilt of a steeply raked stage. In the portrait Lautrec also considerably revised his representation of the earlier painting, omitti ng Lender and ceding center stage to Don Nervoso, which essentially makes Nocq the star of both the portrait and the painting-within-a-painting.

In 1898 Lautrec's friend Maurice Joyant and his partner Michel Manzi, art dealers, commissioned a set of five lithographs. One of them, Bust of Mlle Marcelle Lender (fig. 9) , has been identified as Lautrec's last depiction of the performer. This print differs from the earlier lithographs in its delicate evocation of the actress as an individual rather than in character. The identification of the model as Lender has been quest ioned; she has also been recognized as Jeanne Granier, another performer. 34 The women bear a striking resemblance to one another in several Lautrec prints. Both wore similar hair styles and showy headgear, both had prominent, mobile eyebrows and eyes slitted against the glare of the footlights, and both had sharp, pointed noses a nd chins and long necks often accentuated by jewelry or lacework. The strongly accented nostrils and plump lower eyelids in this lithograph point toward an identification with Marcelle Lender, a final, poignant recollection of the actress who had inspired him.


1. Charles S. Moffett, in Art for the Nation: Gifts in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art [exh. cat., National Gallery of Art] (Washington, 1991), 252.

2. Götz Adriani, Toulouse-Lautrec , trans. Anne Lemmonier and Elisabeth Kohler (Paris, 1991), 181. "Coolus" was the pseudonym of René Weil (1868-1952). See Claire Frèches-Thory, "Toulouse-Lautrec and the Theatre," in Toulouse-Lautrec [exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London] (Paris, 1991), 364.

3. " Hervé" was the pseudonym Louis Auguste Joseph Florimond Ronger (1825-1892) adopted for his work in the theater. See Renée Cariven-Galharret and Dominique Ghesquière, Hervé: un musicien paradoxal (1825-1892) (Paris, 1992), and Jacques Rouchouse, 50 Ans de Folies Parisiennes: Hervé (1825-1892): Le Père de l'Opérette (Luisant, 1994).

4. La Grande Encyclopédie: Inventaire raisonné des sciences, des lettres, et des arts (Paris, 1886-1902), 11: 56-57.

5. Cariven-Galharret and Ghesquière 1992, 102-103.

6. The Théâtre des Variétés dated from 1777. See Joseph Long, Theatre in Focus: Théâtre des Variétés (Cambridge, England, and Teaneck, NJ, 1980).

7. The electrical engineers who accomplished this technical breakthrough considered it so important that they published a special book: Wilfrid de Fonvielle, L'Eclairage électrique du Théâtre des Variétés (Paris, 1882).

8. Albin Valabrègue, "Les Théâtres," L'Illustration (Paris, 9 February 1895), 119, described the "staggering beauty" of the production, suggesting that "if this sensational reprise doesn't have one hundred performances the theater will be ruined, because all its resources have been dedicated to the splendo r of the staging." Francisque Sargey, "Chronique 'Théâtrale," Le Temps (Paris, 4 February 1895), 1, praised the "animated and brilliant spectacle..., an orgy of curious and fantastic costumes and amusing and magnificent processions," and noted that, "pretty girls aren't lacking at the Variétés." Even a journalist who panned the operetta (Adolphe Jullien, "Revue Musicale," Journal des Débats [Paris, 2 February 1895], evening edition, 1) complimented the "very beautiful staging, with a large and richly costumed cast."

9. Un Homme du monde (an anonymous, regular contributor), "Letter to the Editor," New York Herald (Paris, 7 February 1895), 3.

10. François Le Targat, Toulouse-Lautrec , 2nd ed. (Paris, 1992), 30-31.

11. Alfred Simon, Toulouse-Lautrec (Paris, 1990), as cited in Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters from the Bibliothèque Nationale [exh. cat., Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris] (Brisbane (?) , 1991), 128.

12. Madame Satan , an operetta by Ernest Blum and Raoul Toché starring Lender, Albert Brasseur, and Baron, opened on 26 September 1893. See Götz Adriani, Toulouse-Lautrec: The Complete Graphic Works: A Catalogue Raisonné: The Gerstenberg Collection [exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts] (London, 1988), 69.

13. The standard catalogues of Lautrec's prints are Loÿs Delteil, H. de ToulouseLautrec (Le Peintre-graveur illustré , vols. 10-11 (Paris, 1920), and Wolfgang Wittrock, Toulouse-Lautrec: The complete prints (London, 1985). The prints listed here are Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.351, D. 58, W. 47; Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.341, D. 41, W. 31; and Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.343, D. 43, W. 33. Designs for the latter two were created for publication in the jour nal L'Escarmouche, but the quality of the paper and printing of the National Gallery of Art prints indicate that they, like the first, were made for the fine art trade.

14. Romain Coolus, "Souvenirs sur Toulouse-Lautrec," L'Amour de l'Art 12, no. 4 (April 1931), 139. The refrain of the chorus is, "Il est dix heures; c'est l'instant; c'est l'heure où Chilpéric se lève. Esperons qu'il a fait un rêve qui le rende heureux et content' [It's ten o'clock; it's the moment; it's the time when Chilp éric arises. Let us hope he had a dream that makes him happy and content]. Hervé, Chilpéric: OpéraBouffe en 3 actes & 4 tableaux (Paris, 1868), no. 8.

15. Maurice Joyant, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864-1901: Dessins, Estampes, Affiches (Paris, 1927), 45-47. Visual evidence indicates that the artist occupied different seats on both sides of the central aisle.

16. The standard catalogue is M. G. Dortu, Toulouse-Lautrec et son oeuvre (New York, 1971). Drawings that can be associated with Chilpéric are Dortu D. 3118, 3725, 3765, 3767, 3803, 3810, 3812, 3813, 3814, 3815, 3829, 3874 3897, 3898, 4012, 4241, 4242, including three depictions of other performers. Three other drawings of Lender (Dortu D. 3327, 3427, and 3766) are related to the 1893 lithog raphs.

17. See Michel Georges-Michel, "Lautrec et ses modèles," Gazette des Beaux-Arts 74 (April 1972), 244. The song she cited is that quoted in note 14 above. Lender did not perform this song in Chilpéric .

18. According to Wittrock 1985, 261, Meier-Graefe had solicited the lithograph in conjunction with a plan to disseminate examples of the most advanced printmaking to his magazine's German audience. Lautrec presented it to him as a gift, and Meier-Graefe wa s responsible only for the costs associated with the printing. See Richard Thomson, "The Imagery of Toulouse-Lautrec's Prints," in Wittrock 1985, 13; see also Adriani 1988, 161-162.

19. The exhibition ran from 10 May to 10 June 1895. See Anne Roquebert, "Chronologie," in Paris 1991, 535.

20. The two impressions, both called Bust of Mlle Marcelle Lender, are Rosenwald Collection 1947.7.184 and 1952.8.371 (both D. 102, W. 99).

21. For information on Stern and Kleinmann see Antony Griffiths, "The Prints of Toulouse-Lautrec," in Wittrock 1985, 44-46. See also Phillip Dennis Cate and Sinclair Hamilton Hitchings, The Color Revolution: Color Lithography in France 1890-1900 (Santa Barbara and Salt Lake City, 1978), 20, 38; and André Mellario, La Lithographie originale en couleurs (Paris, 1898), trans. Margaret Needham in Cate and Hitchings 1978, 90-91.

22. See Arsène Alexandre, "H. de Toulouse-Lautrec," Pan 1, no. 3 (September 1895), 196. The lithograph (Rosenwald Collection 1951.10.431, D. 102, W. 99) appeared on the facing page.

23. Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.370, D. 102, W. 99.

24. Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.378, D. 110, W. 107; Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.373, D. 104, W. 103; Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.374, D. 105, W. 104; Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.375, D. 106, W. 105; Rosenwald Collection 1946.21.341, D. 107, W. 106.

25. Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.376, D. 108, W. 108.

26. Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.376, D. 164, W. 109; Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.377, D. 109, W. 110; Rosenwald Collection 1952.8.372, D. 103, W. 101; and D. 163; W. 102. The condition of Mlle Marcelle Lender Standing unfortunately precludes its inclusion in this exhibition. The National Gallery of Art does not have an impression of Lender Seated ; although published by Kleinmann, it was not in his Lautrec collection when Lessing Rosenwald purchased it in 1951. See Ruth E. Fine, Lessing J. Rosenwald: Tribute to a Collector [exh. cat., National Gallery of Art] (Washington, 1982), 232-233.

27. This speculation occurs in Jean Adhémar, Toulouse-Lautrec: His Complete Lithographs and Drypoints (New York, 1965), 133, and is echoed in Adriani 1988, 169. Lautrec and Stern printed twenty impressions of the first state before deciding to rework it. In the second state Lautrec eliminated Lavallière, reduced the image size, and printed in sanguine rat her than black. Only a few impressions (four according to Wittrock) were pulled of the second state. It seems counterintuitive to suppose that the first state was the abortive experiment.

28. Oil on cardboard, 31 x 20 1/2 in. (79 x 51.5 cm), signed HTLautrec (HTL in monogram) / 1896 at bottom left; private collection, U.S. (Dortu P. 626). As this booklet goes to press we are still attempting to trace this painting.

29. The pages in Chilpéric were breeches roles filled by young women, performers chosen for their shapeliness, as Lautrec recognized in his depictions.

30. The pages in Chilpéric were breeches roles filled by young women, performers chosen for their shapeliness, as Lautrec recognized in his depictions.

31. Adriani 1991, 300.

32. Oil on cardboard, 24 1/4 x 19 3/8 in. (61.7 x 49.3 cm), signed at lower right, HTLautrec (HTL in monogram) / 97. Nocq first appeared in Lautrec's work in the poster "L'Artisan Moderne" (D. 350; W. P. 24), where he was the embodiment of the crafts revival, a doctor carrying his remedies toward the bed of an attractive young woman, Marianne, the incarnation of the French republic. Lautrec endorsed the revival of fine crafts, and his litho graphs signify his active participation in the movement. See Douglas W. Druick, "Toulouse-Lautrec: Notes on an Exhibition," The Print Collector's Notebook 17, no. 2 (May-June 1986), 45-47.

33. Dortu P. 638.

34. This alternative identification was advocated by Adriani 1988, 369, and in Paris 1991, 134.

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