Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901)
The Seated Clowness (Miss Cha-U-Kao), from Elles, 1896
Lithograph printed in green-black, black-brown, yellow, red, and blue 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, 1962.108
This sheet features the contortionist dancer Miss Cha-U-Kao (a phonetic play on chahut-chaos or chaotic can-can). She is shown at rest, her outlandish costume, provocative pose, and brazen stare conveying her strong personality. Sharp outlines are set off against soft atmospheric effects achieved through a technique of blowing fine dots of ink on a lithographic stone.