An extremely rare Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec manuscript will be auctioned later next month by New Hampshire based, RR Auction
In this two-page autographed manuscript, in both French and Latin, Lautrec tells the legend of Hercules and Cacus, and includes sketches in his inimitable style.
Manuscript reads in part (translated): The face was horrible; his strength was matching his stature, his body was huge and this monster was the son of Vulcan. The dwelling was a cave with deep refuges, and so hidden that wild animals could hardly find it. Human heads and arms are nailed at the entrance; dried up ground is whitened by bones.
Lautrec has added multiple small ink sketches to the top and bottom borders of the manuscript, including several rough sketches at the top of the first page, most likely of Cacus; five partial and complete sketches of oxen next to the stamped monogram at the top of the second page; two sketches of a mans head at the bottom of the third page; and two sketches of horse heads at the conclusion.
While the world has come to recognize Lautrec as a master storyteller through his artwork, this remarkable piece shows him honing his skills in both word and image, says Bobby Livingston, VP at RR Auction. Bringing to life the figures of this epic tale he gives new form to the centuries-old story."
The document also includes his rare Monfa signature (the conclusion of his complete family name, Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, referring back to the village in southern France whence his descendants came).
Among the other museum quality items in the auction:
An extremely rare vintage matte-finish photograph of a young 13-year-old Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevn of Russia.
George Orwell signed letter that offers an extraordinary autobiographical account, during the time he was immersed in his work on Nineteen Eighty-Four.
J. R. R. Tolkien handwritten letter that details of the development and success of his masterpiece, Lord of the Rings. In part: The poor Hobbit is a non-casualty, alive but damaged.
A rare Queen Elizabeth I manuscript discussing support for the soldier who saved her from Bloody Mary.
Gustave Courbet signed letter, as the French government attempts to seize the self-exiled artists paintings as payment for the Vendome Column.
The auction, which contains more than 1,500 items, began on Friday, January 24, and will end on the evening of Wednesday, February 12.