Lautrec soon becomes a familiar of the brothels of Montmartre. He develops a specific technique of paint à l'essence that gives to oil painting a look similar as pastel. Living permanently with the girls, he received some commissions for the decoration of brothels.
The cripple artist is welcomed to such a point that he may attend the moments of rest and relaxation of the prostitutes. An observer of sensuality like Degas and Rodin, Lautrec is excited by the transgression of the bourgeois prohibition of the homosexuality. When they are not working, the girls in his brothels live their intimacy between them, without a man.
On February 3 in London, Sotheby's sells Au Lit : Le Baiser, an intimate scene where the viewer cannot dispute that the artist did not disturb the women in their erotic action. The sensuality emanating from this picture is strengthened by the fact that they are not naked.
This peinture à l'essence on panel 39 x 58 cm painted in 1892 is estimated £ 9M, lot 18.
Within the theme of lesbian intimacy by Lautrec, it anticipates L'Abandon (Le Repos), painted in 1895, sold for £ 6.2 million including premium by Christie's on 4 February 2009, and also the portfolio Elles printed in 1896.