A more intimate reprise of Lautrec's famous La grande loge (Wittrock 177), La petite loge is believed to show the interior of the bar La Souris at rue Breda, a popular lesbian night spot which was near the artist’s studio and to which he was a frequent visitor. More intimate in scale, it depicts two lonely figures, seated in adjacent booths. Both are partially hidden by the sides of the booths that separate them. The head of a woman wearing an elaborately feathered hat is just visible above the walls of the foremost booth, where she is waiting, perhaps for a romantic rendezvous. Behind her the back of a gentleman’s top hat pokes above the booth, it’s occupant apparently unaware of his attractive neighbour. Like Le grande loge, La petite loge is executed in the spatter technique which allowed for only a small number of twelve impressions and two proofs to be pulled. Of this small edition Wittrock cites a total of seven impressions in public collections. According to our records only three impressions have been offered at auction in the last thirty years.
We are grateful to Wolfgang Wittrock, Berlin, for his help in researching the provenance of this lot.