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Café Dancer

Louis Valtat

European Art

By the late nineteenth century, Parisian café concerts and dance halls, many in the bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre, had become carnival-like spaces of spectacle and sexual freedom, particularly for bourgeois male patrons. Louis Valtat’s vivid painting depicts one of the many working-class women who found employment in such venues performing the risqué, high-kicking dance known as the cancan, or chahut. She entertains a crowd of men in top hats, seen in the background.
MEDIUM Oil on graphite over laid paper mounted to canvas
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1894–1895
    DIMENSIONS 24 1/8 × 18 1/8 in. (61.3 × 46 cm) frame: 32 × 26 × 4 5/8 in. (81.3 × 66 × 11.7 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "L.V" (underscored)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1992.107.37
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Louis Valtat (French, 1869–1952). Café Dancer, 1894–1895. Oil on graphite over laid paper mounted to canvas, 24 1/8 × 18 1/8 in. (61.3 × 46 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr., 1992.107.37. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1992.107.37_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1992.107.37_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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