La Goulue

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Poster advertising La Goulue at the Moulin Rouge, by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1891
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec: La Goulue arriving at the Moulin Rouge (1892)

La Goulue was Louise Weber (13 July 1866, Clichy, Paris – 30 January 1929), a French can-can dancer. She was always known by her nickname.[1] La Goulue is French slang for 'greedy guts'. It came from her habit of picking up a customer's glass and drinking it while dancing past the table.

Growing up, Weber was a poor Jewish girl who loved to dance. She would dressed up and pretended to be a glamorous star on a great stage. At 16, she was working with her mother in the laundry. Without her mother knowing, she began sneaking off to a dance hall wearing a dress she would "borrow" from one of their customers.

Weber quickly became popular because of her dancing at small clubs in Paris. She was liked for her dancing skills and her behaviour. In her routine, she teased the male audience by swirling her raised dress to reveal the heart embroidered on her panties. Another trick of hers was to kick off a man's hat with her toe.

Later, she met the Montmartre painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He introduced her to a group of models who earned money posing for artists and photographers.[2]

Images[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. La Goulue. Toulouse-Lautrec: Biographies — La Goulue, San Diego Museum of Art.
  2. History of the Moulin Rouge. [1]