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Seated Clown (Mademoiselle Cha-u-kao)
From the album Elles (Those Women). Published by Gustave Pellet (Paris, 1896)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864 - 1901. Published by Gustave Pellet, Paris, French, 1859 - 1919.

Made in Paris, France, Europe
Published in Paris, France, Europe

c. 1896

Color lithograph

Image and sheet: 20 1/2 × 15 3/4 inches (52.1 × 40 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Lisa Norris Elkins Fund, 1950

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In 1896 Lautrec completed the most striking of all the limited-edition print albums published during the 1890s, a suite of eleven color lithographs that he titled Elles (Those Women). The series portrays the daily routine in a fancy brothel, showing prostitutes in various stages of preparation for work: waking, having breakfast, filling a bath, primping, and even entertaining a client.

This is the only print in Lautrec's Elles album without a brothel setting. Portrayed here is Mademoiselle Cha-u-kao, a performer who took her stage name from the Chahut-Chaos, a noisy, crowd-pleasing dance that was on the bill at the Moulin Rouge nightclub.