The exhibits have been drawn together from international collections to celebrate a remarkable creative partnership which captured the excitement and spectacle of bohemian Paris.
In contrast to Toulouse-Lautrec, who was a member of one of France’s oldest noble families, Jane Avril was the daughter of a courtesan and at the age of 20 was taken on by the Moulin Rouge.
Jane Avril became an emblematic figure in Lautrec’s world of dancers, cabaret singers, musicians and prostitutes.
However, she was also a close friend of the artist and he painted a series of striking portraits of her which contrast starkly with his exuberant posters.
The exhibition runs from 16 June to 18 September 2011 at the Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London.