Le Jockey (The Jockey)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Le Jockey (The Jockey)



20 3/16 x 14 1/16 in (51.3 x 35.8 cm)


Simon Theobald Ltd


+44 (0) 207 629 0629

$35,000 - $70,000

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Toulouse-Lautrec's close association with horses from a young age is well documented.   Many of the artist's earliest drawings are dedicated to this subject and over the years as he developed as a painter and as a creator of extravagant and innovative posters highlighting and advertising life in fin-de siecle Paris, his love of horses never left him.

Racing was of course also a fashionable pastime for the inhabitants of Paris and the racecourse here at Longchamps in the Bois de Bolougne, Paris (identified by the distant windmill) would be a place where people from all levels of society would go.

Whilst other artists depicted horse-racing with a focus on the social interaction between spectators or the interplay between jockeys, Lautrec focussed on the agility of horses and the skill of their riders.  In this extraordinary work, the dynamism of the picture is achieved through the daring foreshortening of the foreground horse and dramatic use of perspective - devices indebted to the work of Degas and Manet.  Quite remarkably, the vantage point is that of one of the following jockeys rather than one of the spectators.

Toulouse-Lautrec  was in Paris at the time of the popularisation of the medium of lithography - the drawing onto a stone and printing images from this.  Colour lithography which involved printing onto the same sheet of paper using multiple stones was still in its relative infancy, but Toulouse-Lautrec completely revolutionised this medium and finely tuned his spattered ink technique known as crachis.  The superb effect of this technique is seen in this celebrated lithograph Le Jockey. 

The  colour lithograph was printed in an edition of 100 on wove paper and 12 on Japanese paper (there was also an edition of about 70 in black only).

Many of these works are now in the collections of major museums including The British Museum, London, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (Gift of David and Peggy Rockefeller),  The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, The  Kröller Müller Museum, Otterlo,  The Bibliotheque Nationale Paris and elsewhere.