At The Circus with Lautrec
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a notorious French painter. Lautrec was a larger than life figure that immersed himself in the ‘seedier’ side of 19th century Parisian culture. He was the only son of Comte Alphonse and Comtesse Adele de Toulouse-Lautrec, (his younger brother was born in 1867 but died the following year), who were an aristocratic family from Albi. Their social standing and wealth enabled Lautrec to enjoy a number of leisure pastimes until he fell ill at around the age of 11 or 12, at which point whilst confined to his bed he began to draw in earnest, encourage by both his mother and grandmother. Unable due to his health and societal expectations to enter a profession acceptable to a gentleman of his stature, his family agreed to his apprenticeship to, Leon Bonnat, a painter whom they deemed of good social standing.
Now in Paris and on his own, Lautrec left behind the respectable society portraits and instead his paintings focused on the dancing girls, performers and prostitutes of 19th century Paris and in particular, Lautrec became synonymous with the infamous Moulin-Rouge. Lautrec rejected the high-class artistic establishment instead focusing his work on the everyday fantasy world that this district of pleasure created. For the Moulin-Rouge, Lautrec created a number of lithographic prints in high volumes that were used as advertising materials for the establishment, performers and performances. These prints were used as disposable advertising posters and pasted around the city with few surviving today. And both art historians and collectors treat those that do with great reverie. Lautrec changed the way that consumers interacted with his artwork in 19th century France and through it he gained an incredible notoriety both in his day and after. Lautrec immersed himself in this life, earing the respect of the working girls and proprietors, in fact he even lived in some of these establishments for a time, so involved and trusted was he. Unfortunately Lautrec’s party lifestyle mixed with his already ill health was untenable and he died at the age of 36, three months before his next birthday.
“At The Circus”
Facsimile Reproductions from the Original Portfolio
Printed by the Harry N. Abrams, 1967
These pieces are from Lautrec’s circus portfolio. Lautrec created the original collection of crayon and chalk drawings in the spring of 1899, just two years before his death, while he was at a sanatorium undergoing treatment for his alcoholism. In fact it was these drawings, with their beautifully intricate details (recalled from memory), that convinced staff at the institution that Lautrec was well enough to leave. Supposedly, upon leaving the institution, Lautrec said “I’ve bought my release with my drawings”. And looking at this collection it is easy to see why. The depth and delicacy of these works are exquisite – especially when we remind ourselves that these were done from memory months after Lautrec had last been to the circus.
The pieces we have in the gallery are facsimile reproductions of Lautrec’s original drawings. These lithographs were published in 1967 by Harry N. Abrams as part of a collection of 22 pieces that were put together from the Lautrec’s 1899 drawings to make this collection, “At The Circus”. The collection consist of the following works, Jockey, Clown Trainer, Female Trainer, Curtain Call, Performing Elephant, Bear Performing, Female Clown, Circus Acrobats, Entering The Ring, Tightrope Dancer, Performing Horses, Performing Horse, The Flying Trapeze, The Pas de Deux, Haute Ecole – The Spanish Walk, Haute Ecole Equestrienne: Pointage, Haute Ecole Equestrienne: Taking A Bow,Haute Ecole Equestrienne: The Tandem, Equestrian Acrobatics, Bareback Rider, Equestrienne: Riding ‘En Panneau’ and Clown Training a Horse and Monkey. This was the first reprint of these works since the original collection were published in 1905. Both collections are now out of print and copies are incredibly rare to come by and even rarer in good condition. Each piece from the collection measures 18 x 25 cm, is monogramed in the plate with Lautrec’s signature, ‘HTL’ and has been beautifully framed to keep as much of the original details as possible while also showing off the work in a modern finish.
Rayford - Debut Exhibition
Thank you to everyone who came to meet Yorkshire artist Rayford and be dazzled by his beautifully ethereal cityscapes and then be bowled over by his stunningly captured wildlife portraits. Truly an artist for all! While his originals have left both galleries for the next stop on his tour - his limited editions are still available to order and (while it's still here) you can still view his beautiful Lincoln original!
"Empire State Building"
"After The Rain"
The Waite was finally over!
EDWARD WAITE at Lincoln and... STAMFORD!
Edward Waite visited his local Lincoln gallery this year to show off a spectacular set of original art work in eluding never before seen sketches straight out of Ed's own sketchbook! Edward also appeared for the first time in Stamford where he showed off his new Stamford sketches Some of the work is still on display so pop on by for Lincoln and Stamford originals.
Lincolnshire Show 2017!
We had a fabulous time in the Mews at stand 21!
Can't wait for next year!
Also check out the aftermath of our Lincoln gallery once the show was over:
But it's ok, we made it beautiful again!
The Vollard Suite - Picasso over 7 years
“The Vollard Suite” was created by Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) between 1930 and 1937 for the great avant-garde Parisian art dealer Ambroise Vollard (1866 - 1939), who gave Picasso his first Paris exhibition in 1901. The suite itself compromises of 100 etchings and shows all of Picasso’s passions of the time: sculpting, bullfighting, sex, and his current mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter (1909-1977). The 17-year-old lived across the street from Picasso’s marital home and started out as a model for him in 1927 after he noticed her classical features - in particular her straight nose. Marie-Thérèse clearly had a huge impact upon Picasso at this time as she appears in almost every etching of “The Vollard Suite” as well as his other work constructed during this period. The passionate love affair began to dwindle after the birth of their daughter Maya in 1935, partly because Picasso’s wife Olga Khokhlova was made aware of the affair around this time but also more significantly by 1936 Picasso had already begun to fall for his next muse, the photographer Dora Maar, who would document the creation of Picasso’s 1937 masterpiece, “Guernica”. “Guernica” was Picasso’s response to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and is still regarded by many as one of his most important works; it has become an iconic statement on the horrors and atrocities of war. Many of the motifs in “Guernica” have a direct relationship to the work Picasso developed and produced for “The Vollard Suite”.
Most of the images in “The Vollard Suite” have no connection to the others however there are several overarching themes that link the work. Generally scholars agree on the following five categories (discounting around twenty-seven miscellaneous images and the three portraits of Vollard): ‘Battle of Love’, ‘the Sculptor’s Studio’, ‘Rembrandt’, ‘the Minotaur’ and ‘the Blind Minotaur’. These categories were put in place in the 1950’s after the suite’s reemergence onto the art market. It’s also worth noting that neither Picasso or Vollard ever referred to the suite as “The Vollard Suite”, this was another convention that occurred later. Similarly none of the prints were named or ordered by Vollard or Picasso. The series came about as part of a bargain between Picasso and Vollard. In Musée Picasso there is an unsigned typed document that details the sale or a Renoir painting for 130,000 francs and a Cézanne for 80,000 francs. The document is dated 19th February 1934 and so it is supposed by most scholars to be Picasso’s payment for the “The Vollard Suite”. Vollard was well known for his verbal agreements and never keeping much of a written record so this document is especially significant. Eleven plates that make up “The Vollard Suite” were created between September 1930 and July 1932, then a flurry of activity in mid-March 1933 led to forty plates being completed within six weeks, after this Picasso continued to create plates and Vollard selected those he liked in 1933 and 1934. By June 1936, ninety-seven prints had been selected, to make the suite into a more commercial number Vollard convinced Picasso to make three portraits of the art dealer, all of which were completed in one day (4th March 1937). There is a suggestion that Vollard was simply undertaking some self-promotion by asking Picasso for those portraits as he was publishing his book Recollections of a Picture Dealer in France that year. In any case what is particularly significant about “The Vollard Suite” is the manner in which it was commissioned. There was no set number of prints or timetable. The way that Vollard selected the works allowed for an organic collection that shows off Picasso’s passions and interests over the course of almost seven years. Something that is singularly unique in art history and especially significant when we understand the talents of Picasso and his ability to span several art movements and styles throughout his creative life.
Vollard died in a car accident on 22nd July 1939, this sent shock waves throughout the Parisian artistic community and put an abrupt end to a number of projects, “The Vollard Suite” included. There is much evidence to suggest that at least some of the plates had been destined to form a book as illustrations that would have accompanied the texts of André Suarès’s Minotaure and Minos & Pasiphaë. Vollard’s illustrated books rarely held much coherency between the written text and the illustrations, instead they were to be viewed as two parallel narratives. This is perhaps one of the reasons that artist’s liked Vollard’s style of publication; their artistic freedom was rarely impinged upon. While this book collaboration was never to be, before Vollard’s death there existed 315 printed sets of “The Vollard Suite”: 260 printed on Montval paper, approximately 44.5 x 34.0 cm, each bearing a specially made ‘Picasso’ or ‘Vollard’ watermark; fifty sets existed on Montval paper but in the larger size of 50 x 38.5 cm and carrying a different ‘Montgolfier’ watermark and three sets were printed on vellum. The printing was undertaken by Roger Lacourière, at Montmartre at rue Foyatier and was not completed until 1939, two months before Vollard’s death. Vollard had arranged for Picasso to sign ten plates from the larger set in a limited edition of fifteen and the three on vellum. This could have all been intended to make up a deluxe separate album.
Vollard’s will left most of his estate to his siblings and family friends although it was written in 1911, years before he attained any wealth and as such no provisions were set out to ensure that his projects were completed. Vollard’s print-stock was purchased in bulk in the mid-1940s by the Paris print dealer Henri Petiet from Vollard’s brother, Lucien. It is thought that Petiet purchased all ninety-seven prints of ‘The Vollard Suite’, minus the three portraits for 10,000 Swiss Francs. The portraits were sold to Petiet’s rival Marcel Lecomte forcing Petiet to negotiate with Lecomte every time he sold a full set of the prints. The outbreak of the Second World War meant that the prints were largely forgotten about until the 1950s when Petiet began distributing “The Vollard Suite” on the open-market as both individual prints and as full sets, and from 1954 he began sending the prints to Picasso for him to sign. Supposedly Picasso charged 10,000 Francs for his signature on these prints and charged both Petiet and Lecomte separately. It was a tactic that gave him a return from the prints and also discouraged the dealers from sending too many for him to sign, he wished to be left to work on his current artist projects rather than be bogged down in endless signatures. In 1969 Picasso was so involved with his 347 series that he stopped signing the prints altogether, which is why so many are left unsigned today.
In 1956 the art historian Hans Bolliger reproduced ‘The Vollard Suite’ in a book that is no longer in print and is rarely seen on the open market. In fact no one is really sure how many of these books survive today. We currently have a number of prints here at the gallery which are pages taken from one or more of these books. They are gorgeous period reproductions that truly enjoy a place within the history of art.
Fused Glass - No paint Was Used In The Making of This Artwork
Alec Makinson's was here at the Lincoln gallery in June and he brought some fantastic artworks with him! It was great fun to chat with Alec and find out about the exacting process of working with glass to create recognisable landscapes with stunning colours when you have to kiln the piece at least three times and each time it's liable to react differently! Work by Alec is still available so pop and take a look at his masterpieces for yourselves.
- Salvador Dali and his 'Immortals of Art'
- Lincolnshire Photographer J.P. Corrigan
- Christmas Budgets? Not A Problem!
- Keith Drury's Lincoln Launch