Jan 7, 2022
Jul 27, 2007
Jul 27, 2007

Monsieur Boileau at the Café

Monsieur Boileau at the Café


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

(French, 1864–1901)

Oil and tempera with charcoal on millboard

Sheet: 80.3 x 65 cm (31 5/8 x 25 9/16 in.); Framed: 105.4 x 89.5 x 8.3 cm (41 1/2 x 35 1/4 x 3 1/4 in.)

Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection 1925.1409

Catalogue raisonné: Dortu P.465


Did you know?

The green drink on the table is probably absinthe, a popular drink with artists at the time that was thought to have hallucinogenic properties.


Cleveland’s 1925 purchase of this work by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec marked the first acquisition of one of the artist’s drawings by a museum in the United States. Its subject, Monsieur Boileau, was a gossip columnist known to drink heavily at Le Mirliton, a nightclub. Here, saturated, acidic tones evoke the room’s gas lamps and thinned oil paint absorbs into its support, producing texture that complements the scene’s grittiness. In his own time, Toulouse-Lautrec was considered a portraitist for such depictions of friends and other inhabitants of his neighborhood. He preferred drawing for its immediacy, using it to record his sitters’ personalities through materials and formal choices.

See also
DR - French
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.