Painted by Eugène Delacroix in 1831, la liberté guidant le peuple is a mythical masterpiece, an icon of the French republic. A lot of people think to detect a scene from the French revolution. But in reality it is the 28th of July 1830 on a barricade in Paris. The liberticidal laws of king Charles X did mobilize all the population of Paris against him.
Starting in the 1890ies, Toulouse Lautrec focuses on the distractions Paris has to offer: the theatre, the circuses, the tracks and also the brothels. He will draw numerous scenes of them. Except two or three saucy paintings the painter from Albi refuses to paint obscene, vulgar or venal prostitutes like other painters used to do at that time. There he started to break off with caricatures to get a more naturalistic touch that is also more human.