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A Major Rediscovery Unveiled at the MMFA

Montreal, June 9, 2016 – The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is unveiling L’intérieur de chez Bruant : le Mirliton (Inside Bruant’s Mirliton) (1886‐1887) to the general public for the first time. Known until fairly recently only through its preparatory studies, this canvas by Louis Anquetin will be presented from June 18 to October 30 in the exhibition Toulouse‐Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque.

L’Intérieur de chez Bruant : Le Mirliton (Inside Bruant’s Mirliton) is without a doubt a major rediscovery in terms of the art history of fin‐de‐siècle Paris. With vibrant brushstrokes and brilliant
colours, Anquetin has conjured up the dynamic culture of Montmartre in its heyday. He depicts several iconic figures, including La Goulue and Aristide Bruant, contemporaries of Toulouse‐Lautrec.

Conceived as a record of an era, this painting was created in the style of bohemian artists. Anquetin drew the general outline of his composition in pastel, while at the same time making myriad preparatory studies for each figure, sometimes even on wrapping paper. Those drawings were exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in March 1888.

Toulouse‐Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque
June 18 to October 30, 2016

Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., this exhibition presents a truly outstanding private collection. The exhibition gives the public the opportunity to admire close to one hundred prints and posters from nearly the entire period of Toulouse‐Lautrec’s lithographic career, from 1891 to 1900, both iconic images and rarely exhibited unique proofs carefully chosen for their quality and colour. It also features four works by two close associates of the artist, including a large‐format poster of Théophile Alexandre Steinlen’s famous Tournée du Chat Noir (1896) and Louis Anquetin’s pastel Au cirque (At the Circus) (1887) and the painting L’Intérieur de chez Bruant : Le Mirliton (Inside Bruant’s Mirliton) (1886‐1887), which is being exhibited for the first time.