In 1892, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec paints a series of paintings while living at a maison close, where he befriends the women he paints. Au lit le baiser is part of a series of 4 compositions in which Lautrec depicts a moment of tender intimacy between two women.
He exhibited the painting during the 3rd exhibition of the Impressionists and symbolists painters at the Galerie Le Parc de Boutteville in Paris which started in November 1892.
Lautrec said “A model is always a stuffed doll, but these women are alive” and that “their heart is in the right place. Good upbringing comes from the heart. That’s enough for me.”
A close friend of Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard likes the work.
Thadee Natanson, an art connoisseur and businessman who founded the arts and literary magazine La Revue Blanche, declared “small though he may be, Lautrec’s vision is large. He gives space to everything.”
Yvanhoé Rambosson, an art critic reviewing the exhibition in the newspaper La Plume used punctuation to affect surprise – “the Kiss is of an… entanglement!”
Toulouse Lautrec, Gilles Neret, 1999
Henri's tender Kiss, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 14" x 11" (36 x 28 cm)