La Boite a Fursy (1899)  32x47V (81.3x120.7cm)  Imp. Chaix, Paris

La Boite a Fursy (1899)
32x47V (81.3x120.7cm)
Imp. Chaix, Paris

Fursy was only a minor share­holder in the Tréteau de Tabarin, On Novem­ber 21, 1899 he was fired by his part­ner Ropi­quet, who wanted to be the only one to ben­e­fit from the promised wind­fall of the crowds expected at the Uni­ver­sal Exhi­bi­tion of 1900. This was under­es­ti­mat­ing the devil Fursy — who was, in fact, the soul of the cabaret. The fol­low­ing morn­ing Fursy pur­chased the Pacha Noir Hotel (which as we have seen was in a state of col­lapse) — and reopens it exactly a month later on Decem­ber 22,1899. This was enough time for Grün to come up with a poster, described by Fursy in his mem­oirs: “I had cov­ered the walls of Paris with a poster by Grün, which showed me with my back to the piano, singing in front of an audi­ence where one could rec­og­nize all the mon­archs and VIPs of the time — Cham­ber­lain, Krüger, the Prince of Wales, Alphonse de Roth­schild, Henri Bris­son, Lou­bet, Major Marc­hand, Deschanel, Waldeck-Rousseau, Henri Rochefort, Paulus, Grün him­self and a few “petites femmes” who added a light touch to brighten up the whole pic­ture. The poster was good and full houses gave way to full houses.” The Musée de la Pub­lic­ité men­tions a “Fursy’s Cav­ern” under the ref­er­ence 12377, esteemed to be in too poor a con­di­tion to be pho­tographed — a vast mystery!

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