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In the early 1890s Toulouse-Lautrec made many paintings and drawings inspired by life in Parisian brothels. He is known to have spent days at a time in the brothels, where he was accepted by the prostitutes as a friend and confidant. During these periods he was able to make numerous studies of the women in casual, everyday poses, as they waited for their clients. This painting seems to be a study for part of a larger painting known as 'In the Salon', in the large collection of works by this artist at the Musée d'Albi in France.

September 2004