Founded two years before, the famous Parisian cabaret wished to display its dynamism. The picture is perfect, with the tall serious guy in the foreground, the cancan dancing girl on the ring and the tight and joyful crowd as backdrop silhouettes.
The actress is named in the title : she is La Goulue. The slumming bourgeois is a local celebrity of Montmartre known by the nickname Valentin le Désossé.
The poster was first edited in large size, 189 x 114 cm in three joined sheets. A highly rare copy of the first version is for sale at Sotheby's in New York on October 30, lot 175 estimated $ 325K.
This advertising image was an immediate success that called for a second version of the same format, also in three sheets. The drawing is unchanged, but an additional text is inserted in the lower part to announce masked balls twice a week.
A copy of that second state, also very rare, has been discussed previously in this column. It was sold for $ 300K including premium by Swann on December 17, 2008.