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Toulouse-Lautrec was famed for his closely-observed portrayals of late nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife, from music halls to brothels. Here, a high-class prostitute, probably Lucy Jourdain, is shown in elaborate costume seated in a cabinet particulier (a private room intended for intimate liaisons) at the café-restaurant ‘Le Rat Mort’ (‘The Dead Rat’). The light from the lamp at the left casts a sickly green glow. The blurry and hallucinatory effect is deeply evocative of seedy night-time entertainment.

The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)



In a Private Dining Room at the Rat Mort




oil on canvas


H 55.1 x W 46 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Samuel Courtauld, 1948

Work type



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The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Somerset House, Strand, London, Greater London WC2R 0RN England

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