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Gift of Ralph King 1925.1204.10
Catalogue raisonné: Wittrock Vol.I.164 ; Delteil 188
State: W. I/I
This print belongs to a portfolio published by the dealer Gustave Pellet, who created a special luxury paper that featured a watermark of his initials.
Like Cassatt, Toulouse-Lautrec also made a series of color prints depicting the daily lives of women, but instead of portraying bourgeois wives and mothers, his subjects were prostitutes. His series of twelve lithographs entitled Elles boldly confronted the reality of late 19th-century Parisian brothels on the rue de Moulins and the rue de Richelieu, in which rich men's pursuit of pleasure with the daughters of the poor was legal and accepted. Although not portraits of classic beauty, his depictions of Parisian prostitutes embrace the poignancy of human experience. Here, a prostitute unhooks her corset in the presence of a client, her face sympathetically averted from the viewer's gaze.
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