Lot 13
  • 13

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

2,500,000 - 3,500,000 USD
2,410,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
  • À Armenonville, en cabinet particulier
  • Signed with the monogram TL (upper left)
  • Peinture à l'essence on board
  • 26 3/8 by 20 1/2 in.
  • 67 by 52.2 cm


Georges Menier, Paris (acquired before 1933)

Private Collection (by descent from the above)

Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., London

Acquired from the above on December 21, 1955


Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1902, no. 16 (titled A Armenonville)

Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, L'impressionniste, 1935, no. 93 (titled La Toilette)

Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, 1997-2015 (on loan)


Photo Druet, No. 6630

Maurice Joyant, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, I, peintre, Paris, 1926, listed p. 299

Jean Palaiseul, "H. de Toulouse-Lautrec Ie grand petit homme," Noir et Blanc, April 25, 1951, illustrated p. 279

M. G. Dortu, Toulouse-Lautrec et son oeuvre, vol. III, New York, 1971, no. 687, illustrated p. 423

Toulouse-Lautrec Paintings (exhibition catalogue), Art Institute of Chicago, 1979, illustrated p. 305

Gabriele M. Sugana, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paris, 1986, no. 629, illustrated p. 127

Toulouse-Lautrec (exhibition catalogue), Hayward Gallery London & Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 1992, p. 498

Fondation Pierre Gianadda, ed., Collection Louis et Evelyn Franck, Zurich, 1998, illustrated in color p. 58

Catalogue Note

À Armenonville, en cabinet particulier, 1899, belongs to the great series of voyeuristic depictions of intimate encounters that fascinated Toulouse-Lautrec throughout 1890s.  While many of these scenes took place in brothels, the artist also depicted these heated scenarios as they played out in theater boxes, cafés, and other spaces of social engagement.  A brilliant interpreter of his time, Lautrec focused his attention on the game of pursuit that lead to sexual confrontation.  The present work takes place in what appears to be a dressing room, where a woman readies herself before a mirror for a masked ball, while a potential seducer makes his abrupt entrance into the picture plane.  The intimate atmosphere of the scene is amplified by the position of the two figures, one of whom appears to be unaware of the other's approach.  The male figure's identity is obscured by his clown's nose mask as his arm extends just beneath the hem of the woman's undergarments.  The movements of the two figures are charted in fluent lines of purple and blue hues, and the furnishings are reduced to a minimum to focus on the action at hand.

In his essay about this picture in the Franck Collection catalogue, Roland Pickvance identifies the male figure as the artist's 'long-suffering' cousin Dr. Gabriel Tapie de Celeyran, whose image Lautrec would often caricature in his drawings and paintings of these years.  The female model is presumed to be the 'coquette' Lucy Jourdain, who also appeared in two additional works that same year, Repos pendant le bal masqué and En cabinet particulier: Au Rat Mort.  While the interior gives us little indication of a precise setting, it was presumed to depict a room at the Pavillion  d'Armenonville, an upscale restaurant in the Bois de Boulogne.  The artist had frequented the Armenonville on occasion with his friend and dealer Maurice Joyant, who titled this picture accordingly in his catalogue raisonné.  Joyant goes on to describe the scene here "A grotesque looking individual is fooling around with a half-dressed woman in bloomers and and corset who is combing her hair in front of a mirror." He speculates that the picture was probably completed during the fall of 1899, when Lautrec was back in Paris following his stay at an asylum in Neuilly:  "In the few months that he would spend in Paris, that is from the end of 1899 to May 1900 and from 15 April to 15 July 1901, Lautrec would try again to devote himself unstintingly to Parisian life with diminishing strength. By a return to the things of his youth, the circus, horses, he would go to the Bois de Boulogne each day and do a certain number of paintings entitled At the Races, or riders, horsewomen scenes of Armenonville and the Bois de Boulogne" (M. Joyant, op. cit., pp. 239-40).

One of the first owners of this picture was Georges Menier (1880-1933), who made his fortune in the production of chocolate.  Menier was among the Parisian sophisticates who supported the work of avant-garde artists including Modigliani.  After Menier's death, most of his collection was inherited by his heirs who kept their pictures throughout the war.