Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)

"La Gitane"

Lithografia a 4 colori,
160 x 5 cm (63 x 25 5/8 in)

TNtoulou01.jpg (3087 byte)

The poster La Gitane is among Henri de Toulouse-lautrec's most evocative works, as well as one of the rarest. It advertises a never-published play, now lost; its plot can be reconstructed from contemporary reviews that suggest a story line similar to that of Bizet's Carmen, with a sinister and melodramatic twist.

The heroine, Rita, is married to her cousin but betrays him with any man who catches her fancy. Among her casual conquests,the Count de Moreuse refuses to be discarded. He abandons his family and follows Rita to Granada, where, while Rita dances,husband and lover fight and die. The heartless Rita is gleeful and vindictive, as Toulouse-Lautrec shows; the play ends as she steps over the fallen men to flee, laughing with her brother-in-law.