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Troupe de Mille Eglantine

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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. At the height of the cancan's popularity, dancers formed groups which offered their services as a unit. Whether the troupe of Mlle Eglantine was the best of them we don't know, but it is certainly the only one publicized by the best Toulouse-Lautrec did it at his request of his friend Jane Avril. From left to right, we see Jane Avril. Cleopatra, Eglantine and Gazelle. As with Moulin Rouge poster, he lets the white of the petticoats, punctuated by stockinged legs, do most of the talking, but he also offhandedly gives each girl a distinct character in only a fez limning their facial expressions." The poster was designed for the group's London appearance at the Palais Theatre. Jane Avril her friend to Henri (Lautrec) at the last minute to leave the name of the venue out of the design, hoping that it would be a success and travel to other theaters as well. Unfortunately, the Troupe was not well received and they went no further. But the cancan, which was usually performed at the time in a formation of four dancers, as shown here, continues to live in our imagination due to the lively, fresh and original composition of this poster