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Red-Headed Woman in the Garden of M. Foret, Summer 1887

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

French, 1864-1901
Oil on cardboard
28-1/8 x 22-7/8 in. (71.4 x 58.1 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1973.37.P
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

This picture belongs to a small group Toulouse-Lautrec painted outdoors in the garden of a friend during the summer of 1887. Writing to his mother that July, he complained, “The sky is unsettled and is sprinkling us with an unconcern that shows how little feeling the Eternal Father has with regard to outdoor painting.” An irreverent wit, Toulouse-Lautrec is best remembered for his lurid, acidic portrayals of the Parisian demimonde. Here we see a very different side of his production—tender and pensive—capturing the features of his favorite model, Carmen Gaudin. Her flaming hair and pale, sharp features appear again and again in his pictures from the late 1880s.

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