The Streetwalker (formerly Portrait of a Prostitute)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864-1901)
Oil on cardboard 
24-3/4 x 19-1/8 in. (62.8 x 48.6 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

Though Toulouse-Lautrec was born into an aristocratic family in the South of France, he spent his career recording the everyday lives of working people in Montmartre with unusual sympathy and insight. In the 1890s he grew increasingly interested in the prostitutes who lived and worked around him (and whom he probably frequented on occasion). A double chin and coquettish, curled bangs identify this portrait as the likeness of a particular individual, but the artist also set out to portray a type, the most desperate class of prostitute: a pierreuse, or streetwalker, who met her clients on the street, rather than in the relative safety of a licensed brothel.


[Jos Hessel, Paris].
[?Léon] Orosdi, by 1914.
S. Sévadjian (sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 22 March 1920, lot 21, ill., as La pierreuse, to);
[Paul Rosenberg, Paris, by 1926].
Mlle. Jane Renouardt [?Renouard], Paris, sold 1938 to;
[Paul Rosenberg, Paris, and New York (after 1940), Paris stock no. 338, as Pensionnaire de maison Close/New York stock no. 5095, as Profil, sold 20 February 1957 to];
Robert Ellis Simon, Los Angeles, bequest 1969 to;
The Norton Simon Foundation, acc. F.1969.38.11.P, sold 2000 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation

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