Height: 412.000 mm
Width: 534.000 mm
Prints and Drawings
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Woman at the Tub, a lithograph
France, AD 1896
A five-colour Lithograph from the Elles suite
The Elles suite is Toulouse-Lautrec's greatest lithographic achievement. It was published by Gustave Pellet in an edition of one hundred, on specially-made paper with a watermark bearing the names of the artist and publisher. The suite was made up of a cover, a frontispiece, and ten plates.
Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) made drawings for the series while living in various brothels, but the setting is not always obvious, with the emphasis being on the mundane. The prostitutes are seen washing, sleeping, chatting and brushing their hair, as well as undressing for a waiting client. Although he does not flatter, Toulouse-Lautrec is sympathetic to these human types, and it is only the flanêurs or gentlemen callers, who flatten into caricature.
In Woman at the Tub, the scene could be any domestic interior; the only hints of debauchery are the large mirror reflecting rumpled bedclothes, and the slightly saucy print on the wall showing the Classical subject matter of Leda and her swan. The spattered ink and undulating lines show Toulouse-Lautrec's drawing at its most relaxed.
W. Wittrock, Toulouse-Lautrec: the complete (London, Sotheby's Publications, 1985)