So everyone has heard the saying, “Well behaved women never make history.” Right?
I recently stumbled upon a wonderful portrait by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec of a woman who looks gloriously misbehaved. Her stage name was La Goulue, and she did make history.
La Goulue Entering the Moulin Rouge, 1891-2
A cancan dancer at the famed Moulin Rouge, La Goulue (Louise Weber 1866-1929) was the toast of Paris and dubbed the Queen of Montmarte. At the height of her career, she was the highest paid entertainer of the day.
Louise Weber as La Goulue
But, after losing her fortune in failed traveling dance shows, Louise Weber suffered a lengthy and slow decline, finally dying alcoholic and destitute, an unrecognized peddler of cigarettes, matches and peanuts on a street corner near the Moulin Rouge.
Sadly, history often demands a heavy price from “misbehaved” women.