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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

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For the show "Backstage at the Opera" at the Grévin Museum, we see many beautiful ladies practicing their dancing, their movements caught so vividly we can almost feel the air stirred up by their lively pirouettes. This two-sheet poster, with the dancers approximately life-size, is one of Chéret's masterpieces. The place where shows like this were held is a Paris original: originally a waxworks founded around 1880 by caricaturist Alfred Grévin, it included a 500 seat auditorium where live performances were given to supplement the meager income Grévin made from admissions to the museum part of the operation. The theater had mirrored walls, and Chéret himself painted the ceiling. The presentations included a mix of magic shows, revues and concerts - anything to bring in the patrons. What's perhaps most amazing is that the place is still in business and still uses the same approach of museum (22 tableaux from the Belle Époque) and live entertainment. 

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