This original lithograph is a superb impression of the definitive state. It comes from the edition of 1,211 (artist's edition of 36, deluxe edition of 75, standard edition of 1,100), which was published by Julius Meier-Graefe, Berlin, for the art review Pan, July 31, 1898, vol. IV, no. I, with the publisher’s letterpress credit line “MAXIMILIEN LUCE, HOCHÖFEN PAN IV I / FÜNFFARBIGE ORIGINALLITHOGRAPHIE” at the lower left edge. Printed by Auguste Clot, Paris, 1898. Catalogue raisonné reference: Jacques Lethève & Françoise Gardy, Inventaire du Fonds Français après 1800, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1967, vol. XIV, no. 32. The Pan magazine, founded in Berlin in 1895 as an independent organ of art and literature, counted among its contributors names ranging from Verlaine and Dehmel to Panizza, Heinrich Mann and Maeterlinck. In Otto Julius Bierbaum and the twenty-seven year old Julius Meier-Graefe it had editors who were passionate advocators of all that was new. Meier-Graefe, who had come into contact with young French artists when he was in Paris on the staff of Samuel Bing’s gallery, was determined to propigate this in Germany and make Pan its main mouthpiece. But the project did not last long. Meier-Graefe’s aim to make original French graphics accessible to his readers at a low cost met with considerable resistance from his financiers after the publication in volume I of a Toulouse-Lautrec’s color lithograph, and they used a programmatic article by Alfred Lichtwark to speak out for maintaining the German character of the periodical. Finally, Meier-Graefe was urged to resign, especially since Lautrec, who provided the lithograph free of charge for the editor’s sake, was regarded, not only in court circles, as a prime example of French frivolity.
This work is part of a carefully curated selection by noted fine art expert Jennifer McCloskey, who was formerly affiliated with Doyle Gallery in New York and is now based in San Francisco.