Represented and sung by Toulouse-Lautrec, clowns, ballerinas, cabaret dancers, ladies of “half-light” and other representatives of bohemia are still able to shock the public to this day. The painting “Two Friends” or “Les Miserables” as well as possible translates the main features of the artist’s style, as well as his worldview and character.
It’s amazing, but the representative of the noble estate, Toulouse-Lautrec, did not belong to the ladies of the “ancient” profession with disgust, cold detachment or purely professional curiosity, on the contrary, he was a friend, a sincere companion. All this we can observe in his work as a whole, and also specifically in this work.
On the canvas, we see two ladies of a “well-known” profession freely located on a soft sofa. They are very close to each other, their relationship is close and even intimate, so much so that we can suspect between these two women feelings, which, however, the artist never caused either condemnation or reprimand. The master did not treat homosexual love as a phenomenon out of the ordinary, rather, as other famous figures of art – Rodin, Courbet, he was not only tolerant in this respect, but also enchanted female love.
In each of his work, despite graphic sharp laconicism and a bizarre, flexible design, Toulouse-Lautrec immersed himself immensely in the inner hidden world of his characters and this work is no exception. In addition to the subjective candor, the canvas carries extreme tenderness, relaxation and intimacy.