'Elles: Femme en corset - Conquète de passage', 1896

(Elles: Woman in a corset - Passing Conquest)

Colour crayon, brush and spatter lithograph

Print of a woman putting on a corset

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), 'Femme en corset - Conquète de passage', 1896. Colour crayon, brush and spatter lithograph. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Lautrec captures the purely financial liaison between the prostitute and client perfectly. The print is unusual in the 'Elles' series in portraying a man with a prostitute.

Despite their association, the figures appear alienated from each other; the woman active, the man a passive presence. An erotic print is shown on the wall as shown in the 'Elle' prints, 'Elles: Femme au Tub-Le Tub' ( 'Elles: Woman in a tub' ) and 'Elles: Femme qui se lave-La Toilette' ('Elles: Woman washing').

That women of a certain class could be seen as both commodities and corrupters of society was a view prevalent in late nineteenth-century Paris.

Bequeathed by Campbell Dodgson.