Published: November 17, 2020
NEW YORK CITY – Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec’s (1864-1901) “P. Sescau / Photographe” was the muse of the day at Poster Auctions International, Inc.’s November 15 sale when it brought $114,000. The poster measured 31 by 24¼ inches and is the only poster produced by Lautrec that relates to photography. In Toulouse Lautrec and His Contemporaries: Posters of the Belle Epoque From the Wagner Collection (1985) by Ebria Feinblatt and Bruce Davis, the authors remark, “The lively Paul Sescau, who was given to the same pleasures as Lautrec and other friends, was the first in his field to photograph the artist’s work and from him Lautrec learned the art of photography.”
It is said that Sescau used his studio for the seduction of women, Lautrec nodding to this by making the female subject, which may be Jane Avril, in a pose that suggests she is rebuffing or turning away from the photographer. Lautrec depicted Sescau behind the camera and under its drapery, the long curtain extending between his legs in a phallic manner.
The poster featured two rare remarques, a nude woman with pig to the top right and an elephant to the bottom right. It also featured the artist’s red monogram stamp, which appears on only two known editions of this poster, the other at the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi, France.
For additional information, www.rennertsgallery.com or 212-787-4000.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm