BAL DU DÉFICIT — 1897

Bal du Deficit (1897) 24x32" (61x81.9cm)  Imp. Bourgerie & Cie., Paris.

Bal du Deficit (1897)
24x32” (61x81.9cm)
Imp. Bourg­erie & Cie., Paris.

The admis­sion fee from the big ball fol­low­ing the Vachal­cade was intended to bail out the orga­ni­za­tion. Unfor­tu­nately, due to atro­cious weather, the ball was a com­plete flop and the event showed a loss that had to be recov­ered. The idea of another ball to be held at the Moulin Rouge is imag­ined, with Grün com­mis­sioned for the poster, It is very col­or­ful (even the color blue is added) and in order to draw a crowd it depicts a rav­ish­ing bare-breasted drum major. A cop stands on a fair­ground plat­form super­vis­ing the parade. Wil­lette is wear­ing Russ­ian attire (in Novem­ber the czar had been wel­comed in Paris and came with the Pre­o­bra­jen­ski Impe­r­ial Guard mil­i­tary band) and Grün is dressed as a sol­dier — a veiled ref­er­ence to the Franco-Russian alliance. In the back­ground, Fran­cisque Sarcey, the whip­ping boy of the cabaret singers (led by Alphonse Allais), parades around in his under­pants. A few spelling errors add to the com­i­cal side of the sit­u­a­tion. In order to quickly raise as much money as pos­si­ble the poster was put on sale at Pierrefort,

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