This is a monochrome print of Toulouse-Lautrec's oil painting, but it has a colorful story behind it and I'm not referring to the purple Air Mail stamp or the bright magenta postage verso. It's a funny, ironic story. This postcard of a famous French artist was bought in the US and mailed back 'home' to France! The signature is hard to read (upside down by Jefferson's head) but I believe Alain sent this to his "Chere Maman." He writes: I send you this postcard bought at the N.G.A. at Washington, representing the Quadrille at the Moulin Rouge painted by Toulouse-Lautrec. I had forgotten in my last letter to ask ... ." He is referring, of course, to the National Art Gallery in D.C. You will note that this particular work of Toulouse-Lautrec's is part of the Chester Dale Collection. Unfortunately, it is not currently on view, but there are plenty more from Dale's collection, which forms the backbone of the museum's French section. Mr. Dale did not officially bequeath the bulk of his art collection until 1962. However, his association with the NGA went back to 1941 when he loaned 25 of his most important French paintings to it, and he made even more loans in the following years. You'll notice (use the zoom tool) that this postcard is franked 1957. So it pre-dates the official big bequeathal. This art card is typical "antique" size at 3.5 by 5.5 inches. Wear on the corner tips and an ink smudge on the left border, but overall, in fine vintage condition.
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