Nightlife of Paris: The Art of Toulouse-Lautrec

Patrick O'Connor, Author
Patrick O'Connor, Author First Glance Books $25.95 (80p) ISBN 978-0-87663-622-0
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Lively anecdotes about the hedonistic luminaries of fin-de-siecle Paris enhance this beguiling 80-page book. Toulouse-Lautrec's paintings, sketches and lithographs are juxtaposed with photographs of his subjects, among them dancer Jane Avril and chanteuse Yvette Guilbert in her signature elbow-length black gloves. Captions describe the diminutive artist's acquaintance with Aristide Bruant, a singer of drinking songs who became ``the Bob Dylan of his time''; Louise Weber, aka ``La Goulue,'' who, as she danced, often kicked the hat from the head of her partner; and uninhibited Polaire, a friend of Colette, whose high jinks included dancing the quadrille at the windmill-shaped night spot called the Moulin Rouge. These habitues of Montmartre's cafes, cabarets and brothels, familiar to us from Toulouse-Lautrec's posters and museum pieces, come alive anew; O'Connor ( Josephine Baker ) vibrantly recaptures the boisterous, bittersweet Parisian evenings. (Feb.)
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