The composition features a lady sat up in bed with her pet dog by her side. A maid offers support from close by just as an artisan enters the room on the right hand side. He holds a toolbox and hammer to signify his occupation within this design. The artist then incorporates lettering across the bottom of the poster which explains the purpose of this artwork - to advertise a local business. The copy features information on the business itself as well as the three addresses of its different shops. Clearly, this is a company which is progressing well and looking to advertise its many locations as the brand continues to grow around the city. Toulouse-Lautrec regularly featured local businesses in his work for posters such as this, and normally the patrons would accept his work with few or no amendments. His style seemed to attract the public and this led to an increase in commissions during the 1890s for a number of different companies and individuals, including novelists announcing their latest books, cabaret shows and even hat makers.
André Marty was a designer who sold various interior design products and was the owner of L'Artisane Moderne. It is hard to actually connect the content of this print with his own businesses, though, and the only real link is provided by the text at the bottom of the composition. It is a playful work by the artist, who shows a man with a toolbox pretending to be a doctor. The artist produced a number of amusing caricatures within his oeuvre and L'Artisane Moderne creates a similar type of mood within this piece. The disconnect between the business itself and the content of this poster would have caused some to reject this artwork, but perhaps the business owner understood the artist's sense of humour and accepted the design in any case. In other examples, those commissioning his work might reject his ideas and this was the reality of working within commercial art. The initial lines of form are added to with tones of blue and yellow to ensure a strong impact by this design.
One version of this charming print made its way into a Sotheby's auction in 2021, achieving a sale price of $2,772 which was slightly below the pre-sale estimate. It is not known precisely how many of the original prints are still in circulation, but there is certainly another within the collection of the V&A Museum in London. A good number of high profile art galleries and museums have acquired some of these prints in recent years, helping to expand their print and drawing collections which help art students and historians to learn more about the very important base skills learnt by some of these artists, from which everything else would then be added on top.