Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s painting, At the Moulin Rouge / Two Women Waltzing, is an iconic depiction of Parisian nightlife and the famous cabaret, the Moulin Rouge. The artwork was painted in 1892 and is considered a masterpiece of Post-Impressionist art. It depicts two women waltzing, one being the dancer and comedian Cha-U-Kao and the other being Jane Avril, both popular performers at the Moulin Rouge at the time.
The background of the painting features a green face which is believed to be that of La Goulue, another well-known performer at Moulin Rouge. Additionally, the artist includes a self-portrait in profile on one side of the canvas.
Interestingly, this painting has been interpreted as evidence of lesbian relationships within Montmartre’s artistic community during this time period. Toulouse-Lautrec himself was known for his close friendships with women who were rumored to have romantic connections with each other.
Currently on display at Prague’s National Museum,the painting is made using oil paints on cardboard which gives off its unique texture.
Overall, At the Moulin Rouge / Two Women Waltzing offers both an insight into Parisian nightlife in 1890s and as valuable historical reference for understanding societal attitudes towards LGBTQ communities during that era.