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Poster girl a glass act

Date

Julieanne Strachan

Workers from Sydney company Flash graphics, Matthew Dawson, left, and Malcolm Townsend bring Toulouse Lautrec to the National Gallery.

Workers from Sydney company Flash graphics, Matthew Dawson, left, and Malcolm Townsend bring Toulouse Lautrec to the National Gallery. Photo: Graham Tidy

La Goulue was one of the stars of the Moulin Rouge: slender, pale and bewitching.

In the 1890s she had the power to stop men in their tracks.

More than a century later she is still regarded as the ideal poster girl.

La Goulue was immortalised by master painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Paris in 1892 and now the iconic image of her entering the Moulin Rouge has been chosen as a signature piece for the National Gallery of Australia's blockbuster exhibition, Toulouse-Lautrec - Paris and the Moulin Rouge, which opens on December 14 and runs until April 2.

An 11x10-metre scrim poster of La Goulue was transferred onto the windows above the front entrance of the National Gallery on Friday to herald the exhibition.

The image is bold and eye-catching from the outside of the building, but invisible to the eye from the other side of the glass.

The image sweeps across two storeys and wraps slightly around a corner.

It is only the second time the gallery has used such a large transparent artwork across its facade. The previous one was to promote its Renaissance blockbuster exhibition celebrating the 15th and 16th century Italian masters.

The Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition will feature many more artworks than the Renaissance exhibition, however.

There will be 110 coming from many parts of the globe.

There were 70 works in the Renaissance collection.

The NGA's senior curator of international art, Jane Kinsman, has hand-picked the works for the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition and they have never been shown in this configuration before.

''A lot of people are familiar with his posters, but this is an opportunity to see much more of his life's work,'' she said.

The exhibition features posters, prints and drawings including studio works from early in his career.

The exhibition will open on December 14 and operate on a timed-ticket basis, with sessions available every half hour. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketek.

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