• Old Master, Modern & Contempor auction at Christies

    Sale 7747

    Old Master, Modern & Contemporary Prints

    17 September 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 120

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)

    La Passagère du 54 - Promenade en Yacht (D. 366; Adr. 137; W. Posters 20)

    Price Realised  

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
    La Passagère du 54 - Promenade en Yacht (D. 366; Adr. 137; W. Posters 20)
    lithograph in colours, 1896, on wove paper, signed in pencil, a fine impression of the second state, second edition, the colours particularly fresh and vibrant, inscribed No 20, four short, skilfully repaired tears in the left margin, one just touching the subject, very pale mount staining at the sheet edges, laid on a sheet of thin Japon, otherwise in very good condition, framed
    S. 645 x 500 mm.


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    'As the story is told [Lautrec], Guibert and their friends set off in early August [1895] in high spirits with a case of wine and champagne, on a cargo liner called the Chili, to cruise down the coast from Le Havre to Lisbon...

    Aboard the ship, they saw a lovely young woman travelling with her daughter and their poodle, on their way, it was said, to join her husband, a colonial civil servant in Dakar. Henry was enchanted by her beauty, and a...marvellous lithographic poster...survives to document his infatuation. According to Joyant, Henry was so taken with her that Guibert had a hard time getting him to leave the ship at Lisbon. He wanted to follow her to Dakar.

    It is not known whether he ever actually spoke to his perhaps unwitting model. The title of the work implies that he did not know her name, and his lithograph shows her from a viewpoint which suggests she may not ever have realised she was being observed...Joyant later called Henry's litho 'an exquisite thing, in its tone, its elegance, in its mood of indolence, in the way it conveys the delight of being alive, with eyes idly wandering, on a fine day.''
    Julia Frey, Toulouse-Lautrec, A Life, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1994, pp. 413-4.

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