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Insider Notes

Background:

         Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1864 - 1901) was the son of Comte Alphonse Charles Antoine de Toulouse Lautrec-Montfa and Comtesse Adèle Tapié de Céleyran.  His parents were first cousins.  Had the artist survived his father, he would have inherited the title and become the Count of Toulouse Lautrec. Upon his father's death in 1913,  the title passed to the artist's uncle Odon, the father of  Raymond, Count de Toulouse Lautrec (1900 - 2004).

        When Raymond was born in 1900, his cousin, Henri was enthusiastically pursuing Paris' round the clock banquet of revelries and pleasures.  With his artist's eye and amazing dexterity, Henri captured the vibrant night life in Montmartre's clubs and hideaways. Arising late the next day, he would tuck his sketchpad and pencils under his arm and set off for the excitement of the racecourse.

At the Moulin Rouge,  The Dance:

         The Count, Raymond, recognized the man in the striped pants walking off on the left. He was the artist’s first cousin and boisterous drinking companion: Gabriel Tapié de Céleyran.

      When he was growing up, the Count recalled “Uncle Gab” regaling him with many stories of how he and cousin Henri, spent wild evenings carousing in the Montmartre nightclubs and entertainment spots with music, drinks, dancing and more.  

The Clownesse,  Cha-U-Kao:

      The Clownesse was in her glory  She was "Center Stage", a "Star" at the lively, popular nightclub the "Moulin Rouge" .

      Salinas and the Count thought that in showing the prominence of the old woman in hat walking behind the Clownesse, the artist was giving us a premonition of the elderly Clownesse.

        Cha-U-Kao was a raucous dance like the Can-Can...a play on the word "chaos".

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