Frontispiece from Elles

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901)
Frontispiece from Elles, 1896
Lithograph printed in olive green, blue, and orange on cream wove paper
20 11/16 x 15 13/16 in. (52.5 x 40.2 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.107

A monument in modern printmaking, Toulouse-Lautrec’s Elles portfolio has been interpreted as a chronicle of the daily lives of lesbians involved in the worlds of prostitution and entertainment. The evocative image of a woman in nightdress letting down her hair, seen from behind, in combination with the presence of a man’s top hat introduces one of the themes.