What the World Doesn't Know About Pin-Up Girls

Even though they seem very tame today, Toulouse-Lautrec’s posters were considered to be very sexy back in 1891. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

17. Toulouse-Lautrec and the Dancers of the Moulin Rouge

The quote “Paint me like one of your French girls” from the movie Titanic is so well known, it should be no surprise to anyone that many artists were painting and sketching nude models in Paris. One of the most famous artists who became known for drawing gorgeous girls was Toulouse-Lautrec. He frequented a nightclub called The Moulin Rouge, where he sketched can-can dancers. After making his initial sketch, Toulouse-Lautrec would go home and create a lithograph stencil that would later be pressed onto a poster. His bold color block designs became an overnight success, and his advertisements for the Moulin Rogue really captured the atmosphere of the night club.  

Even though the women in Toulouse-Lautrec’s art are always fully covered, there is still a sense of sensuality. You see these pictures, and you want to know more about the people and the story behind the art. The careers of the women who appeared in Toulouse-Lautrec’s work skyrocketed, and they would eagerly request to become the next subject of his art. Sadly, he died at the very young age of 35, so his career and fame was short-lived. His work would serve as an inspiration for future artists who were trying to master the art of pin-up: Make it innocent and yet sensual at the same time.