One of the greatest works of art in poster advertising history is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s poster promoting Jane Avril’s performance at the Jardin de Paris.  The great post-Impressionist painter, de Toulouse-Lautrec who was influenced by such geniuses as Manet and Degas, fused advertising with art and cultural trends like no predecessor had.  The depiction of Jane Avril captures the dancer in the natural expression of her performance. The artist’s use of color highlights the dancer and her movement as the stringed instrument to the right is woven naturally into the scene. Through the poster, the observer experiences the performance of both the dancer and the musician as de Toulouse-Lautrec captures the arts of dance and music with his brush.  The poster greatly elevated Jane Avril’s status in the performance art world leading her to greater success in both Paris and London.  Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, however, suffered a tragic death at 36 from complications caused by alcoholism.  One can only imagine what more he could have accomplished and how many performance artists he could have advanced if he had lived a longer life.

Read more about Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, see upcoming exhibits, and see similar artists on Artsy.

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