Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s painting “A Montrouge – Rosa La Rouge” features model Carmen Gaudin posing as the prostitute Rosa La Rouge, a character popularized by cabaret performer Aristide Bruant. The painting was created in 1886-87 and displayed in Bruant’s nightclub, Le Mirliton, located in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris. Through this artwork, Toulouse-Lautrec portrays the seedy and indulgent nightlife of Montmartre.
Toulouse-Lautrec’s style is highly linear and emphasizes contour, often leaving much of the board showing through. This technique gives his art a distinct look that captures the essence of Parisian life at the time. Interestingly enough, Toulouse-Lautrec allegedly contracted syphilis from Rosa La Rouge.
In addition to “A Montrouge – Rosa La Rouge,” Toulouse-Lautrec produced several other famous artworks that showcase his unique artistic style. Some notable works include “Moulin Rouge: La Goulue,” featuring can-can dancer Louise Weber; “At The Moulin Rouge: The Dance,” which depicts couples dancing at the Moulin Rouge; and “Jane Avril,” which portrays dancer Jane Avril performing on stage. All these paintings capture different aspects of Parisian nightlife during Toulouse-Lautrec’s time and are significant contributions to art history.