Friday, February 25, 2011
(taken from www.lautrec.info by Eric Johnson and Chris Whitten)
Shameless and outrageous,Louise Weber earned her nickname La Goulue (The Glutton) through her habit of out drinking anyone in the bar. Working in a laundry at age 16, she began dancing in dance halls when she "borrowed" dresses that customers had left for cleaning. She quickly drew attention to herself by dancing on tables, displaying her heart embroidered underwear and kicking men's hats off by her high kicks. One of the men La Goulue attracted was Auguste Renoir, the painter. He introduced her to nude modeling and through these connections she found her way into the fashionable dance clubs of Montmartre.
At the Moulin Rouge, she danced with her wiry partner, Jacques Renaudin, whose skeletal frame and rubbery contortions brought him the nickname "The Boneless Wonder". Toulouse-Lautrec immortalized her in his most famous poster "Moulin Rouge - La Goulue"
But Louise was a glutton for more and she left the Moulin Rouge to start her own dance hall, when that failed she tried going on the road at fairgrounds - but people were no longer interested in her.
She ended up, alcholic and grossly overweight, selling peanuts and cigarettes on the streets of Paris. On her deathbed in 1929, Louise asked a priest, "Father, will God forgive me? I am La Goulue".
Gentle Reader - Can you answer her question?