• Prints & Multiples auction at Christies

    Sale 11966

    Prints & Multiples

    21 September 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 35

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)

    May Milton

    Price Realised  

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
    May Milton
    lithograph in colours, 1895, on wove paper, Wittrock's state B, (of C), printed by Ancourt, Paris, presumably the full sheet, the colours very bright and fresh, a small made-up area at the lower right corner, otherwise in good condition
    Image 795 x 610 mm., Sheet 805 x 618 mm.


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    May Milton was an English vaudeville performer who briefly appeared on stage in Paris before embarking on a tour of America, for which this poster was commissioned. Lautrec captures the essence of his subject with great economy, describing her flowing garment with a few fluid strokes. Using the tone of the paper to describe her white dress, he offsets Milton's coquettish figure against a background of vivid blue. Lautrec made this poster as a pendant for his equally famous depiction of Milton's lover, the singer May Belfort (see lot 34). Although nothing is known of Milton after her departure for America,this poster, regarded as a masterpiece of its kind, has ensured her lasting fame. As a young artist, Pablo Picasso kept a copy in his Montmartre studio: May Milton's flowing dress, her bombshell blonde hair and deft sideways kick can easily be recognised on the back wall in his painting The room of 1901 (Phillips Collection, Washington).

    Provenance

    Maurice Joyant, Paris (1864-1930); then by descent.
    Acquired from the above by the present owners.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the provenance for this lot is:

    Maurice Joyant, Paris (1864-1930); then by descent.
    Acquired from the above by the present owners.


    Literature

    Delteil 356; Adhémar 149; Wittrock P17; Adriani 134