An iconic, red-haired figure, familiar from Toulouse-Lautrec's posters, Jane Avril was a star of the Moulin Rouge.

She was also the daughter of a courtesan, who endured an abusive childhood and suffered from the nervous disorder St Vitus' Dance. Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril: Beyond The Moulin Rouge seeks to unite these two sides of the dancer, displaying the personal portraits Lautrec painted of his friend alongside the poster images that cemented her fame. It explores not only an extraordinary creative partnership, but also the cultural milieu that produced a genre on the cusp of art and advertising.An iconic, red-haired figure, familiar from Toulouse-Lautrec's posters, Jane Avril was a star of the Moulin Rouge. She was also the daughter of a courtesan, who endured an abusive childhood and suffered from the nervous disorder St Vitus' Dance. Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril: Beyond The Moulin Rouge seeks to unite these two sides of the dancer, displaying the personal portraits Lautrec painted of his friend alongside the poster images that cemented her fame. It explores not only an extraordinary creative partnership, but also the cultural milieu that produced a genre on the cusp of art and advertising.Jane Avril was nicknamed 'La Mélinite' after the potent explosive, and her career was an exercise in illusion and self-promotion. There was no room in the larger-than-life Moulin Rouge for plain Jeanne Beaudon, so changing her name and transforming her convulsive sickness to a unique style of expressive dance, she began to cultivate her public image. The posters Toulouse-Lautrec produced to advertise her shows not only reflected this image but helped to create it. Avril later married and lived out her life in respectable bourgeois obscurity, but the posters remain " a colourful testimony to a Bohemian age of art, artifice and excess.

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