Jane Avril, the bell of the Moulin Rouge is mainly known for the many images that Toulouse-Lautrec painted of her. However, there is always more than that to her story. Her mother Leotine Beaudon was a prostitute and her father an Italian nobleman that would never recognise her as his own. She was raised by her grandparents in Etamps until they passed away, sending the young Jeanne Beaudon as she was known to a convent.
Jeanne’s childhood was in constant upheaval, just when she was in a good place her mother would find her and would try to force her into the family business. At 13 she would run away from home and would end up in the Salpetriere Hospital. Jeanne was diagnosed with St Vitus Dance disorder which resulted in jerky movements, later it would become her signature move.
Jeanne would later become Jane Avril, partially to hide from her mother but every new start needed a catchy name. Jane was taking to the stage of the newly opened Moulin Rouge where she would create a lasting impression on Paris.
Listen to her whole story on the newest episode of La Vie Creative – Paris History Avec A Hemingway out now.
More info and photos: https://www.claudinehemingway.com/paris-history-avec-a-hemingway-podcast-1
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