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May Belfort

(French, 1864–1901)
Sheet: 62.5 x 48.2 cm (24 5/8 x 19 in.); Framed: 86 x 71.5 x 8.9 cm (33 7/8 x 28 1/8 x 3 1/2 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Dortu P588
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Location: not on view

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec depicted May Belfort in numerous prints, drawings, posters, and paintings.


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was inspired by café concerts, popular places of Parisian entertainment that featured singers or other performers. This drawing depicts May Belfort, one such entertainer, who the artist discovered in 1895 during a visit to the popular nightclub Les Décadents. Belfort soon became one of Lautrec's favorite models and is seen here wearing the ruffled dress and bonnet that became a signature of her performances. The singer adopted a babyish voice and stood motionless on the stage, encouraging her fans to shout lyrics along with her.
May Belfort

May Belfort


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

(French, 1864–1901)
France, 19th century

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