The similarities between this painting by Louis Anquetin (1861 – 1932) and the homonymous Moulin Rouge painted by Toulouse Lautrec are quite evident. And not only because it is the same place that is represented and a similar moment in which a woman dominates the dance floor and the rest of the characters observe her carefully and behave almost like a background for that dancer. It is also similar in the festive spirit and intention of experimentation that the Post-Impressionist artists were carrying out.
Louis Anquetin's Moulin Rouge
Both fabrics are a few years apart. The first was painted by Toulouse Lautrec in 1890, while in 1893 he painted his Anquetin. However, both painters had known each other for a few years before. When Anquetin arrived inParisfrom his nativeNormandyaround the year 1882 he began to study painting in the studio ofLeon Bonnat, and there he met Toulouse Lautrec and they struck up a strong friendship. So much so that they both left a couple of years later to another studio. Where they were also going to expand their circle of friends with other characters like Van Gogh or Emile Bernard.
However, although Toulouse Lautrec and Anquetin had an important friendship and painted similar paintings, not only this one of the cabaret Moulin Rouge, but also certain portraits, since both painted by certain characters likethe Goulue. But despite that, little by little his style became more and more different.
In fact, Anquetin together with Emile Bernard are the leading representatives of a style that at the time began to be called cloisonnism. A technique that consisted of clearly delimiting the color zones of each part of a figure or thing by means of black outlines. A technique that was also worked by other artists such as Vincent Van Gogh himself, and which was somehow indebted to the revered Japanese prints so coveted in the epoch. Although it is also related to the stained glass windows of medieval churches, where each image is built from lead lines that become the structure that supports the colored glass.
However, that spirit of modernity in the case of Anquetin gradually faded away, although he has bequeathed us really beautiful and attractive works such as the one titled Gust of wind over a Seine bridge , the truth is that he gradually came closer to the painting of the great masters of history. Especially Flemish painter Rubens, whose style with passion, and even in 1924 he published a book on the genius ofbaroque art