The Toilette (1896) by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

The Toilette - Henri Toulouse-Lautrec - 1889

Artwork Information

TitleThe Toilette
ArtistHenri Toulouse-Lautrec
MediumOil on Cardboard
Dimensions67 x 54 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationMusée d'Orsay, Paris
Location Created Paris, France

About The Toilette

The artwork titled “The Toilette” by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, created in 1889, is an oil on cardboard piece exemplary of the Post-Impressionism movement. It measures 67 by 54 centimeters and is considered a genre painting. Crafted in Paris, France, this piece of art is currently housed in the prestigious Musée d’Orsay located in Paris.

“The Toilette” captures an intimate moment of a woman’s daily life. The depicted scene is focused on a single figure, showing the subject from behind as she engages in her personal grooming. Her attire is casual, suggesting a private, unguarded moment. The woman’s back is prominently displayed, with the gentle contours and the pale tone of her skin contrasting against her red hair and the darker surroundings. Intricately rendered textures and a rich interplay of color achieve a vivid sense of material and light. The background, loose and almost abstract in appearance, complements but does not compete with the figure. The casual pose, concentration on mundane activities, and sense of immediacy are elements characteristic of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work, which often explores themes from the fringes of society as well as the private lives of women. Through the use of swift brushstrokes and a vibrant palette, Toulouse-Lautrec provides not only a window into the Belle Époque era but also a personal, almost voyeuristic glimpse into a moment typically hidden from the public eye.

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