TOULOUSE-LAUTREC, Henri de
The Passing Conquest was a preparatory study for a lithography for an album comprising eleven prints in total, a series devoted to the private life of courtisanes, one of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s favourite subjects.
The feminine figure relegates the masculine character to the very edge of the drawing, the contours of the woman’s bust, an object of desire, is rendered in detail whereas her underskirt is merely suggested by broad chalk and brush strokes. Similarly, only the man’s face is fully detailed, in such a way as to make his glance still more significant as he observes every last one of the woman’s gestures.
A fugitive picture of the life of a courtisane, this sketch is without a doubt one of the greatest successes of Toulouse-Lautrec, the painter disenchanted with nightlife that he was.
Bequeathed by the Countess Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec, the mother of the artist, the work joined the museum in 1904.