Chocolat Dansant Dans Un Bar
Dimensions: sheet: 12 × 9 3/16 in. (30.5 × 23.3 cm)
Illustration Citation: Published in Le Rire, 28 March 1896
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Joseph Fraczkowski, 1989
About: Chocolat was the nickname of a black performer who was well-known as a clown at the Nouveau Cirque and an informal dancer on the Paris cafe circuit frequented by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Chocolat's real name was Rafael Padilla. Born enslaved in Cuba, he was sold to a Portuguese man whose ship took him to Europe, where he escaped while in Spain. He worked at various jobs until a fortuitous meeting with a well-known French clown who invited him to Paris. There he became a popular comic performer, though his role was to endure the ridicule and abuse of his white counterpart on stage.
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