Gentlemen’s Club - La Goulue Arrivant au Moulin Rouge

8:00 AM

Gentlemen’s Club
Courtesans and Seductresses Depicted in Art
Curated by Gabbi Fenaroli

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, La Goulue Arrivant au Moulin Rouge, 1892
“It was tough to please La Goulue, but always easy to make her happy.
Just tell her she is the Queen of France and everything will be fine…”
- Jane Avril

She is the one people see on posters of the Moulin Rouge. Never putting a face to a name. She remains a symbol of carefreeness and the wonder years of the Moulin Rouge. Fans of hers would line up as soon as tickets became available to see her show. The woman behind all the fame and acclaim was often referred to as La Goulue. Instantaneously after her start at the Moulin Rouge, she became a hit. Her can-can stole the show every night. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec could not help but notice the captivating face he saw on the stage. He wished to immortalize her through his paintings. In his 1892 painting La Goulue Arrivant au Moulin Rouge, Lautrec brings her to life. Although she might not be considered aesthetically pleasing, the way she holds her self is what grabs the viewers’ attention. Her proactive clothing choice proves to be a bold statement. Her stare should not be mistaken though, she knows she is better than everyone around her.  With that critiquing glance and pressed lip, she knows as soon as she enters the Moulin Rouge, the night will be in full swing.

Lautrec enjoyed creating this moment and being able to capture it on canvas. The fierce anxiety in his brushstrokes over the anticipation for her performance is evident. Lautrec has fallen under La Goulue spell, and will remain there until she chooses to let him go.

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