Boulevard Lautrec

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  Medium: hand-pulled lithograph
  Image size: 38 3/8" x 30 1/2"
  Edition size: 250
  Numbered Proofs: 52
  Non-Numbered Proofs: 16
  Total Edition size: 318
  Number of colors: 15
  Year printed: 2002
  Atelier: Arts-Litho, Paris
  Current Price: $ 1140 Last price on secondary mkt.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was the earliest influence in Authouart's career. At the age of fourteen, Authouart's first art teacher asked him to copy from Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge. After this introduction to Lautrec’s work, Authouart knew he wanted to be a painter. He wanted the tools of his profession to be pens, pencils and brushes and their manifestation to be color, perspective and imagination.
In the 1890’s, Charles Zidler, manager of the Moulin Rouge, commissioned Lautrec to do a playbill, in lithography, for the club. It was to feature the two most famous dancers at the Moulin Rouge, provocative La Goulue and dancing partner Valentin le Désossé. This poster immediately became famous and is indeed considered the most famous and valuable poster in the world today.
In creating this homage to Lautrec, Authouart visited Montmartre repeatedly in an effort to merge the past with the present. A rendering of the original poster can be seen next to the Moulin Rouge marquee beneath the Coca-Cola sign. To the left of the marquee is another famous patron and entertainer of that day in Montmartre, Aristide Bruant. In the foreground, Luatrec, la Goulue and Valentin le Désossé can be seen arm in arm. On the sidewalk Picasso is talking with French dressmaker Jean-Paul Gaultier while Nicole Kidman, star of the film Moulin Rouge, is getting out of the Cadillac. Inside the cabaret you can see a troupe of dancers doing the can-can and at the top of the image is the Sacré Cœur, the Montmartre church. Lending to this feeling of time past and present, Authouart and his wife, Geneviève, are walking on the sidewalk in an apparent time continuum carrying on a conversation. Nowadays, this quarter of Paris near the Moulin Rouge is a dirty, seedy area with live nude shows and sex shops. In the windows of the building on the right, the Club “A” Café, are silhouettes. In the upper windows the silhouettes are of a woman doing a strip-tease for several men but on the lower level, the nude women are copied from Toulouse-Lautrec paintings. Past and present… the more things change the more they stay the same.

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