Fred Armisen, Art Aficionado: At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
on Thanksgiving week, it has just been so wonderful
to have you back, and we’ve been
catching up backstage. Obviously, I have a very —
I hold you in very high regard because there are so many things
you’re good at. You’re a comedian.
You’re a writer. You’re a musician,
so many things. And one thing
I just figured out this week is you are also
an art connoisseur. -Oh, yeah. -And you were saying
to me backstage that you have almost
an art historian’s knowledge of any painting
that has ever been painted. -Yeah, I said that backstage. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] And you said —
You challenged me to show you a painting
and prove you wrong. -Oh yeah,
I know every single painting. -Okay, so you’re sure
you want to do this in front of everybody?
-I want to. -Okay. Guys, it’s time once again for our new segment,
“Fred Armisen: Art Aficionado.” [ Cheers and applause ] -Alright, buddy. This is Toulouse-Lautrec’s
1890 painting, “At the Moulin Rouge,
The Dance.” -Oh, yeah.
Well, you know, he painted this. -Yeah.
-So he got his paints together, and he just sort of separated
all the colors and stuff. -He had to separate them
in the beginning? They don’t come separated?
-No, they don’t, actually. -Oh.
-It’s a sort of — It’s one big mush of paint,
and he sort of — Okay. You know, this is red.
This is black, et cetera. And so he set it all out,
and he started painting it, and eventually — Well, see, this whole thing here
is supposed to be the signature. [ Laughter ] It’s a very elaborate signature. -Wait, are you saying that if — this basically says
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec? -Yeah, because back in those
days, signatures were like — They didn’t have computers,
so they were very elaborate. This is how he signed
a painting. The actual painting
is much, much larger. And, you know,
it’s a real tragedy that over the years,
we’ve sort of lost all of that and everything just gets — You know, they consider this
the painting. And it’s like, “No, you’ve got
to see the rest of it!” It’s just — -What’s the rest of it
look like? Does the rest of it
look like this? -It’s the atrium.
So, this is an atrium, and it goes up the walls,
goes way, way up, and there’s this wonderful
glass elaborate ceiling, and there’s pillars and more paintings.
-Wow. -And this was his
sort of little — Okay, this was me. I painted it. And this is all
that we have now. -Does the rest of the painting
exist somewhere? -It does. It’s on the floor
of the Sistine Chapel. [ Laughter ] -On the floor, so when you
walk in, you’re walking on it? -Yeah, but no one sees,
’cause they’re all looking up. But, like, on the floor
is the rest. -Yeah, yeah, yeah.
In the end, you realize that’s the worst place
to put something, on the floor
of the Sistine Chapel. -Yes.
-Excellent. And do you want to tell me once
again the year this was painted? -It took a while. This is — [ Laughter ] -I said it
right in the beginning. I said it out loud. So, yeah. -He started in the 1850s, and
he was done by 1879, I think. -Yeah, that’s about right.
-Yeah. Yeah. -Give it up for Fred Armisen,