The Toulouse-Lautrec painting "The Clown Cha-U-Kao" depicts a female clown named Cha-U-Kao who performed in the Nouveau Cirque in Paris. The painting shows her dressed in a brightly colored costume, with a white ruffled collar and black top hat, sitting on a stool with a cigarette in her hand.
Cha-U-Kao was a popular performer at the time, known for her androgynous appearance and her comedic routines that often involved dancing and acrobatics. Toulouse-Lautrec was fascinated by the world of the circus and frequently depicted its performers in his work. "The Clown Cha-U-Kao" is considered one of his most striking portraits of a circus performer.