Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - Le Chaine Simpson
Lithograph, November 1900
An original Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
lithograph print on wove paper.
Signed with the artist’s elephant monogram and dated on the stone lower right. Plate 238/256, series Le Maîtres de l’Affiche
Blind stamp of the program (Lugt 1777c) in the sheet lower right; Published by Jules Chéret; printed at Impremiere Chaix (Atelier Chéret), Paris
9 3/16 x 12 13/16 inches
Sheet Size: 11 5/16 x 15 11/16 inches
Catalog: Masters of the Poster pl. 238
Framed in the MLG frame with archival materials, silk UV plexiglas. Certificate of authenticity included.
Although he was never able to participate in sporting activities, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was very fond of sports. With the increasing popularity of bicycles in France, this modern activity occupied the artist’s attention and he was known to watch the races at the Velodrome de la Seine coming as close to the tracks as possible.“La Chaine Simpson”, or the “Simpson Chain”, is one of the most famous Toulouse-Lautrec’s advertisements, especially popular with poster collectors. This particular example belongs to one of the most famous early poster series known as Le Maîtres de l’Affiche, printed by the renowned pioneer in printmaking Jules Chéret. The image prominently features French cyclist Constant Huret riding an enlarged novel Simpson chain, following the Gladiator tandem pacer. Leading couple of cyclists is cut-off and the wheels slightly blurred, introducing a sense of motion into the image, while the two five-seaters balance the energy, pulling the image in the opposite direction. The original large-size poster was created for the English cycling company, Simpsons. We can see the inventor of the new transmission system, William Spears Simpson, standing in the second plan in the middle of the picture, accompanied by Louis Bouglé, the company’s French representative. This lithograph is a transcribed version of the original 1896 poster. Printed by famous Imprimerie Chaix, the plate was issued under the number 238, marked with the artist’s monogram within an elephant. In the bottom-right corner, there is a blind stamp with the image of a poster held overhead by an elegant, seated lady, which is the official symbol of Le Maîtres de l’Affiche poster series.