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Seated Clown (Mademoiselle Cha-u-kao)

c. 1896
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, (French, 1864–1901) Published by Gustave Pellet, Paris, (French, 1859–1919)

In 1896 Lautrec completed the most striking of all the limited-edition print albums published during the 1890s, a suite of eleven color lithographs that he titled Elles (Those Women). The series portrays the daily routine in a fancy brothel, showing prostitutes in various stages of preparation for work: waking, having breakfast, filling a bath, primping, and even entertaining a client.


This is the only print in Lautrec's Elles album without a brothel setting. Portrayed here is Mademoiselle Cha-u-kao, a performer who took her stage name from the Chahut-Chaos, a noisy, crowd-pleasing dance that was on the bill at the Moulin Rouge nightclub.

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Object Details

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