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Clown Sha-U-Kao

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec • Graphics, 1896, 51.9×40 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Graphics
Subject and objects: Portrait, Genre scene
Style of art: Post-Impressionism
Technique: Lithography
Materials: Paper
Date of creation: 1896
Size: 51.9×40 cm
Artwork in selections: 49 selections

Description of the artwork «Clown Sha-U-Kao»

In 1896 Toulouse-Lautrec conceived an album of lithographs, which was one of the failures of his lifetime project of the artist who To The Ambroise Vollard had to split into separate sheets, so that though as-that to sell, and for instance which modern collectors would give my Kingdom. The circulation was large enough – 100 numbered copies signed personally by Lautrec on each sheet. But for fans of frivolous pictures album "They" was not enough spicy, and for art lovers – not pretty enough. There were no portraits of the star singers and dancers, which could attract at least their fans. Among the images of nameless toilers public houses were only one star, clown New circus and cabaret dancer of the Oller – Mademoiselle Sha-u-Kao.

Sha-u-Kao admired Lautrec and was one of the favorite models. He wrote it long and hard (1, 2, 3, 4), more often it is a stage in a clown outfit. Confident, free and sincere, Sha-u-Kao chose the profession of clown, in which even in the time of the victory of feminism will meet a little female, and in the XIX century it was a very brave choice for ladies. From anybody did not hide the clown and her lesbian tendencies, what attracted Lautrec more. "Woman in love with other – the crazy creature"- says the artist enthusiastically wrote this is crazy.

Prostitutes, lesbians, dancers, performing risque dances and flaunts from all parts of the body, singer and clown – all these women of the demimonde thrown propriety of peace, participated with Toulouse-Lautrec in the birth of a completely new type of attraction and beauty in art. Stockings, caps, gloves, corsets, funny collars, in makeup and without, in a funny and unnatural poses, they rarely feminine liked on the paintings of Lautrec, but fully trusted his instincts and talent. He managed in their often grotesque portraits to convey such inner strength and uniqueness, which was lestee external effects.

Sha-u-Kao in this portrait of a tired and detached, allows himself to just be tired, not caring about beautiful pose and turn of the head. This lithograph was opening the album is "They" that originally was to be called "Prostitutes" and that Lautrec was renamed, claiming that women are equally beautiful, aristocratic salons or brothels, on the stage or behind the scenes.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova