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Salon des Cent: Exposition Internationale d'Affiches

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 – 1901) was a French painter, printmaker, draftsman, and illustrator. The period he created his art was known as the Belle Époque and his focus was on the decadence in Parisian society. In the summer of 1895 Lautrec embarked on a voyage from Le Havre to Bordeaux with Maurice Guibert, on the steamer 'Le Chili' During the voyage he discovered a young woman, one of his fellow passengers, in cabin No.54, who was on her way to join her husband, a colonial official in Senegal. He was so fascinated by her beauty that, despite protests from Guilbert, he determined to stay on board when the ship reached Bordeaux and continue south with the vessel. It was not until they reached Lisbon that his friend succeeded in getting Lautrec - who was determined to carry on as far as Dakar - off the ship. Guibert then took the artist via Madrid and Toledo to the spa of Taussat, and the trip ended in late summer near Bordeaux, at the Chateau de Malrome, the main residence of Lautre's mother." "Lautrec kept a photograph of the unknown woman, lost in reverie on deck, in a pose much like this. He was a master at catching the sort of uninvited glimpse into an anonymous and private world depicted here