No performer was a subject for Lautrec over a longer period than the dancer Jane Avril, whom he depicted many times between 1892 and 1899. As a child, Avril had been diagnosed with a neurological disorder called chorea and found her “cure” and calling in a high-kicking, frenzied dance that mimicked the spasmodic movements caused by the disease. Avril and Lautrec were friends, and she is the only performer he portrayed offstage as well as onstage, most notably in the cover for L’Estampe originale. Here, she is shown inspecting a print while the printer Père Cotelle runs the lithographic press in the background.
Gallery label from The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters, July 26, 2014–March 22, 2015.