At the Cirque Fernando, Rider on a White Horse
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864-1901)
On View

Toulouse-Lautrec lived and worked in Montmartre, a bohemian neighborhood at the northern frontier of Paris, from 1886 to 1898. Like the Moulin Rouge dance hall and the Chat Noir café, the Cirque Fernando was a fixture of Montmartre’s seedy entertainment scene and a favorite haunt of the artist. Here he portrayed an equestrian performer at the circus; with rouged cheeks and a scant skirt, she charges into the composition, riding bareback and clutching her horse’s mane. Leaving much of the cardboard support bare, the artist laid in his composition with bold, rapid strokes of pastel, reserving more careful work in wet peinture à l’essence for the rider’s costume and enigmatic expression.


  • Artist Name: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864-1901)
  • Title: At the Cirque Fernando, Rider on a White Horse
  • Date: 1887-1888
  • Medium: Pastel and drained oil on board
  • Dimensions: 23-5/8 x 31-1/4 in. (60 x 79.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1978.13.2.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

[Galerie Georges Petit, Paris].
Antonio Santa-Marina, Buenos Aires [by 1933], (sale, London, Sotheby's, 2 April 1974, lot 23, to);
[P. & D. Colnaghi, G.M.B.H., Zurich, sold 18 May 1978 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

Vème Exposition des XX

  • Brussels, 1888-02-06 to

La Pintura Francesca de Manet a Nuestros Dias

  • Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1949-07 to

Degas et Lautrec

  • Galeria Viau, 1950 to

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Di Tella 1864-1964

  • , 1964-10-30 to 1964-11-29

Escuela Francesca siglos XIX y XX

  • Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1933-10-20 to 1933-11-05

Toulouse-Lautrec: The Solitude of "La Vie Moderne"

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1992-01-16 to 1992-09-20

By Day & By Night: Paris in the Belle Époque

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2019-10-04 to 2020-03-02

Reinstallation of South Wing

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-10-07 to 1995-08-13
  • Thomson, Richard, Toulouse-Lautrec, fig. b p. 234
  • The Burlington Magazine, fig. 58
  • Dortu, M. G., Toulouse-Lautrec et son Oeuvre, no. P315
  • Stuckey, Charles, Toulouse-Lautrec: Paintings, fig. 6 p. 126
  • Joyant, Maurice, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864-1901, peintre, 1926, p. 265
  • Sunset, 1979, pp. 110-113
  • The French Impressionists in Southern California: Paintings, Sculptures and Prints in Public Collections. A Guide Book and Catalogue, 1984, p. 78
  • Murray, G., Toulouse-Lautrec: The Formative Years 1878-1891, 1991, fig. 89 pp. 131, 146, 148, 190-191, 246
  • Brettell, Richard R., et al., Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century European Drawings in the Robert Lehman Collection, 2002, fig. 145.3 pp. 277-281
  • Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1, 2006,
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1523 p. 416
  • Ireson, Nancy and Linda Wolk-Simon, Miss Lala au Cirque Fernando, 2013,
  • Florence Saragoza et Gale Murray, Missing Écuyère : à propos d’un tirage photographique inédit, 2023, pp. 69-77
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Elles: Cover Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1896
Elles: Frontispiece Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1896
Elles: Profile of Woman in Bed Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1896

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