HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901)
VARIOUS PROPERTIES
HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901)

Partie de Campagne

Details
HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901)
Partie de Campagne
lithograph in colours, 1897, on wove paper, with the artist's orange-red signature stamp, numbered in pencil no.19, from the edition of one hundred impressions, published by A. Vollard in the second L'Album des estampes originales de la Galerie Vollard, Paris, the full sheet, the colours fresh and bright, in very good condition, framed
Image & Sheet 398 x 515 mm.
Literature
Delteil 219; Adhémar 322; Wittrock 228; Adriani 228
J. Döring, Toulouse-Lautrec und die Belle-Époque, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg (exh. cat.), 2002.

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Lot Essay


Created four years before his untimely death, Partie de Campagne is one of the last great colour prints by Toulouse-Lautrec. It was inspired by a visit to Le Relais at Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, the country house of Thadée Natanson (1868-1951) and his wife, the pianist and socialite Misia Natanson (1872-1950), later known as Misia Sert, in July 1897. The print shows Misia and the painter Charles Conder (1868-1909) in a smart, two-wheeled trap drawn by a single horse on a country road, followed by a collie dog, then a fashionable breed in Paris. It is in fact an enlarged and more sophisticated version of the slightly earlier print Attelage en tandem (W. 227), which also shows two figures seated in a similar trap, although drawn by two horses, with the same dog running along. For Partie de Campagne - one of the few of his prints that could be described as a landscape - Toulouse-Lautrec revised the composition significantly by turning the perspective to a more oblique angle. The trap and horse are now seen with extreme foreshortening nearly from behind. The viewer is now almost in the position of the dog, trotting along behind the carriage. The composition is dominated by the diagonal line demarcating the green meadow and the country road, which occupies half of the picture plane and is daringly left almost blank.

While the earlier print is a deftly-drawn sketch, the lines in Partie de Campagne are very delicate and the colours hazily applied in the spatter technique. By combining this very light and subtle manner with such a dynamic perspective, Toulouse-Lautrec lends this scene at once a great sense of movement and a quiet, almost lyrical atmosphere.

The lithograph was published as part of Ambroise Vollard's second Album des estampes originales. In his memoirs, Vollard recalled meeting Toulouse-Lautrec to discuss his contribution to the portfolio: 'I can still see the small limping man with his strange child-like gaze, saying to me: "I'll do you a housewife."' (quoted in: Adriani, no. 228, p. 290) One can only assume that Vollard was pleased when, in the end, he presented him with Partie de Campagne instead.

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