I am sure you can guess that as the foremost dealer in the work of Edouard Cortès, we are continually receiving emails from people offering paintings for sale. A majority of them are either very late examples or, sadly, not authentic. However, every so often, we get the real thing. Recently, an individual whose parents had purchased a painting by Edouard Cortès decades ago contacted us. When the photo arrived, we were shocked to see that it was one of his rarest and most sought-after subject matters — the Moulin Rouge! In addition, it was in original (untouched) condition. Yes, we bought it. Like the others we have uncovered, it sold immediately.
At this point, nobody knows how many Moulin Rouge scenes Cortès painted during his long career, but to date, we have only seen six … three of which the gallery bought and sold. You can read the Forbes article about another one we uncovered in 2019: Pair Of Edouard Cortès Paintings, Including Remarkably Rare ‘Moulin Rouge’, Quickly Acquired By Elite Collector From World Expert After Six Decades Unseen.
The Moulin Rouge, or the Red Windmill, was one of Paris’s most famous cabarets of the Belle Époque period. It opened on October 6, 1889, in the Montmartre district to provide an entertainment venue for people of all classes. The shows put on at the Moulin Rouge featured some of the most popular acts in France in the late nineteenth century, including Le Pétomane and Colette, as well as can-can dances and operettas. It became an entertainment destination for the European elite, including the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII. It also became a gathering place for artists, most famously Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who created posters on behalf of the venue. Sadly, the original house burned down in 1915 but was rebuilt and opened again in 1921. Today, it is considered the most famous cabaret in the world and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris.
The gallery created, for your enjoyment, three virtual exhibitions featuring the art of Edouard Cortès: