Lautrec made this lithograph for the vernissage of an exhibition of his work which he held in his studio in April 1898. It shows a little girl teaching a poodle to sit up and beg, with the announcement text:
'Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec begs you to do him the honour of inspecting, on ... April from one to five o'clock, his pictures before they are sent to London. 14 avenue Frochot.'
This impression has the date filled in, with the addition of a handwritten 18 in black ink. Lautrec's studio was number 15 avenue Frochot, and presumably there were too many works to be displayed in his one big room, with the display overflowing into the neighbouring house. In April the exhibition moved to the Goupil Gallery on Lower Regent Street, London, the first major exhibition of the artist's work across the Channel. Lautrec's acquaintance with Oscar Wilde and his scandalous reputation as a painter of 'naughty' subjects preceded him and the show drew a steady stream of visitors. The conservative British press, however, responded with unanimous disapproval, with one contemporary reviewer commenting that: 'Messrs. Boussod, Valadon and Co., of the Goupil Gallery, Lower Regent Street, exhibit a collection of the works of M. Toulouse Lautrec, one of the most extreme of the followers of Degas. His subjects are unlikely to commend themselves to old ladies, but their execution is undeniably clever'. (The Art Journal, June 1898)
Very few impression of this print appear to have survived. Wittrock knew of only 11 impressions, of which six he cites in public collections.