Carmen

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When Toulouse-Lautrec first spotted Carmen Gaudin in Montmartre, he exclaimed to a friend, “How tough she looks! It would be marvelous to get her as a model.” Gaudin consented, and Toulouse-Lautrec painted her on a number of occasions over several years. In this portrait, her expression is guarded, but her fiery hair and uncompromising frontal pose suggest something of the toughness that initially captured the artist’s imagination.

Provenance

The artist, possibly given to Rachou; Henri Rachou, Paris; Arthur-Paul Huc, Toulouse (by 1906–d. 1932); Marcel and Paul Huc, his sons, by descent, Toulouse (from 1932); Pierre-André Weill, Paris (until 1951); [Knoedler, New York, 1951, sold to Clark, 2 Apr. 1951]; Robert Sterling Clark (1951–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

French, 1864–1901

Carmen

c. 1884

Oil on canvas

20 13/16 x 16 1/16 in. (52.9 x 40.8 cm) Frame: 29 x 24 9/16 in. (73.7 x 62.4 cm)


Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1951

1955.525


ON VIEW