At the bar: Toulouse Lautrec's customer and cashier

At the bar: Toulouse Lautrec's customer and cashier
At the bar: Toulouse Lautrec's customer and cashier

This is one of the typical paintings by Henri Toulouse Lautrec that he painted with oil but on cardboard. A background that works for him in such a way that he can use the brush loaded with paint both to draw and to paint (that is, to give color), and all this by applying very broad strokes, and above all very broad.

In this case we could talk about a mature work, since he did it in 1898 and he didn't have many years left to live, but his youth, and Toulouse Lautrec was born in 1864 and died in 1901

At the Bar: The Customer and the Cashier by Toulouse Lautrec

At the bar: Toulouse Lautrec's customer and cashier

Pictorially, this work of his, preserved in theKunsthaus of Zurich, in Switzerland, shows all his art and the characteristics of his style.

In practice, almost half of the cardboard is occupied to represent the bar counter. In other words, one of the favorite settings in the entire pictorial career ofToulouse Lautrecas can be seen in several of his works such as En el Moulin Rouge.

On that table he places a glass and a bottle for us, nothing more, and both objects represented with few strokes in white and blue. And then the two characters in the scene. These two people occupy much of the top half of the cardboard. Especially because of the man's big brown jacket and the lady's blue dress by the checkout.

The Contrastphysiological between both characters, it cannot be greater, since he is plump, and she has a very fine figure. We also see both of them in a different attitude. He looks at us straight on, while the woman is in profile, busy at the bar counter. Curiously, her angular face, greatly enhanced when emerging from the white of her shirt, contrasts even more with the round face of the red-haired client. And Toulouse Lautrec, in the simplicity of his painting, does not fail to present a common element in bars of the time: the mirror behind the bar. Something that can be seen in other works from those years such as El bar del Folies Bergère by Manet.

Actually, with this representation, the author is trying to present us with a very real scene, and above all based on the portraits of the two characters. Some beings full of expressiveness, mystery and also a lot of inner life. And it is that as in so many other works of his that show the Parisian night, sometimes in bars like in this work At the bar: the client and the cashier and other times in cabarets (Baile en the Moulin Rouge), various shows (La Payasa Cha u Kao) or in brothels (In the salon de la rue des Moulins), he tries to show these beings as people of flesh and blood, beyond their professions or their vices.

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