At the Bar (Translation)
Au Bar (Primary Title)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864 - 1901 (Artist)

ca. 1886
oil on canvas
Unframed: 21 3/4 × 16 1/2 in. (55.25 × 41.91 cm)
Framed: 31 × 26 1/2 in. (78.74 × 67.31 cm)
After moving to Paris in 1882, Toulouse-Lautrec trained as an academic painter for five years before setting up a studio in the bohemian district of Montmartre. He was inspired by the eclectic mix of artists, writers, workers, and performers who gathered in the district's cafés, cabarets, and nightclubs. Toulouse-Lautrec frequented these establishments and became known for his scenes of bohemian Parisian life, often featuring his friends as subjects. The small-statured figure to the left is probably the artist himself, while the figures to his right are possibly the Cabaret dancer Valentin le Désossé (literally, "the boneless one") and Toulouse-Lautrec's cousin Gabriel Tapié de Celetran. The hazy, silhouette-like, and somber forms, darkly outlined and enlivened with splashes of strident color, convey the grimy atmosphere of Montmartre's bars and the dissolute behaviors of their familiar inhabitants. Members of different classes intermingled in this segment of Parisian society where all could mutually indulge in drink and entertainment.
Artist's stamp at lower left.
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
2019-2020: "Van Gogh Monet Degas, The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", Palazzo Zabarella, Padua, Italy, October 26, 2019 - March 1, 2020

2019-2021: Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, February 2 - May 5, 2019; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS, April 4, 2020 - January 10, 2021

2018-2019: "Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", The Frick Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, March 17 - July 15, 2018; Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 22 - September 22, 2019

“Le Corps renverse, un regard intime sure l’être,” Landesgalerie Linz at the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Austria, March 1-June 21, 2009

“French Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon,” VMFA, April 4, 1967-June 5, 1968

“French Paintings from the Collections of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon and Mrs. Mellon Bruce,” National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, March 17-May 1, 1966
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.