Lot 661: Babylone d'Allemagne. 1894
30 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Artist: HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901) Size: 34 1/2 x 48 5/8 in./87.8 x 123.5 cm Imp. Chaix, Paris The subject is a book exposing the decadence of Berlin society, written by Lautrec's friend Victor Joze. His poster "focuses the spectator's attention on the hindquarters of four horses, the largest of which [is] also being closely observed by a caricature of the Kaiser standing in a guardbox. The implications of this, along with the book's title, provoked a protest from the German ambassador to France and nearly caused an international incident. Joze, too, wrote Lautrec asking for him to withdraw the poster, as he felt the depiction of a German officer, together with the anti-German tone of the book, would not be tolerated by the police and could get him in trouble. Lautrec, however, refused to stop distribution of the poster, and as he had paid for it [himself], the publisher was not able to stop the distribution. [Thereafter], according to art dealer Edmond Sagot, the value of [Lautrec's] work quadrupled (Frey, p. 398). This is the incredibly rare proof before letters.
Condition Report: B+/ Slight tears at folds & edges.
Dimensions: 34 1/2 x 48 5/8 in./87.8 x 123.5 cm
Artist or Maker: HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901)