Monte-Carlo, André Sauret Editions du Livre, 1952. 4to. [xx] + 12 pp. + 39 plates.
Recent half cloth, wrappers with flaps bound in, very fine.
Limited to just 1500 copies, of which this is no 796.
Toulouse-Lautrec had been introduced to the circus both as a child by his father, an aristocrat passionate about the world of horses, and in the early 1880s by René Princeteau, deaf-mute painter and friend of the family.
In early 1899, Toulouse-Lautrec was hospitalized at the clinic of Dr. Sémelaigne in Neuilly because of mental disorders and alcoholism. In February, to prove that he had recovered his mental health and his ability to work, he drew from memory the present series of 39 drawings from the circus. There are amazons, trapeze artists, clowns, bear and elephant trainers, horses and learned dogs. The stands are drawn empty. The doctors, dazzled by the coherence of these works and the dynamic movements represented, let him out on May 17, 1899, thus recognizing the perfect state of his memory and his remarkable technicality. As Toulouse-Lautrec remarked, "I bought my freedom with my drawings”.
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