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
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];
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By Day & By Night: Paris in the Belle Époque
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Thomson, Richard, Toulouse-Lautrec, fig. b p. 234
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