Lamotte was a member of the United Scenic Artists and created set designs for theatrical productions. One might imagine that Moulin Rouge, in which he skillfully rendered the sparkling lights and crowds of people teeming the entrance of the famed cabaret theatre, may have been intended for a similar stage production.
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Working in gouache and ink, rather than a heavier oil medium, he was able to capture the atmosphere of a Parisian evening with charming details, such as the dozing carriage driver and the glowing signs of the neighboring restaurant. Although a record of a musical using this backdrop remains elusive, the piece bears a United Scenic Artists stamp and the size relates to similar theatre backdrop proposals created by Lamotte for other productions.
Small auction, Hudson, New York
To private collection, Plainfield, Connecticut, and Boston, Massachusetts, March 2019 to present
(verso of board in pencil) Mr Mai— (illegible)
(stamp verso of board) UNITED SCENIC ARTISTS / LOCAL 829 Signature Bernard Lamotte