The subject chosen by the artist here was well known in that part of Paris for running a Cabaret club, as well as being a multi-disciplined performer too. He was both a singer and comedian and also dressed eccenticly which was suited to this style of art used by Toulouse-Lautrec. The purpose of this commissioned artwork was to advertise Bruant's nightclub and it is perhaps one of the more memorable and bold of this artist's lithographic posters.
These two individuals would become friends having met at various cabarets and clubs. Toulouse-Lautrec felt more comfortable in the nightlife of Paris where his own disabilities would be less obvious and he could be more himself. You will find that this depiction captures the famous image of the singer, including a wide-brimmed hat and colourful accessories to his clothing. Flamboyant would be the best description and such colour ideally suited this modern-thinking artist.
This was a region rich in creativity and also highly accepting and non-judgemental of characters from right across Europe, even North America too. You will have found Amedeo Modigliani here as well and even the poorest of artists could survive here if they had sufficient talent. As a melting pot of influences mixed together, there was also the opportunity to add new ideas and techniques into one's own work.