Country Outing (Partie de campagne)
Although better known for his depictions of Parisian café life, Toulouse-Lautrec spent much of his youth in the south of France; horses and hunting were among his favorite early subjects. Unfortunately, a growth disorder left Lautrec unable to enjoy many outdoor activities as an adult. As such, this bright, airy print is a rare example of a landscape scene in his later work.
The figures in the carriage are two of the artist’s friends: Misia Natanson (Sert)—the wife of a founder of La Revue Blanche and a favorite model of the Nabis Group—and the English-born Impressionist painter Charles Conder. A summer stay with the Natanson family in rural Burgundy may have inspired the quick pen-and-ink drawing upon which this image is based. The collie dog trailing the group probably belonged to J. Robin-Langlois, a childhood friend who sheltered the artist as he sank deeper into alcoholism. One of Lautrec’s last color prints before entering an asylum, this work suggests both a popular leisure activity of the cultural elite and a nostalgia look back at a simpler, happier time.
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes at least two other works featuring Misia Sert: Pierre Bonnard’s poster La Revue Blanche and Edouard Vuillard’s color lithograph The Game of Checkers (Eskenazi Museum of Art 72.129).
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Country Outing (Partie de campagne) or The English Dog-Cart (La Charrette Anglaise), from The Album of Original Prints from the Vollard Gallery (L'Album d'estampes originales de la Galerie Vollard) (no. 2)
Color lithograph on paper
Image: 15 5/8 x 20 ½ in. (39.7 x 52.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 75.52.7