Today is the birthday of French painter, print maker, illustrator Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse Lautrec-Monfa (known of course as the diminutive Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 – 1901). Post impressionist Lautrec is best known for his bright lively images of the Parisian theatrical world.
The lively modern world of Fin de siecle Paris was one of colour and decadence and Lautrec immersed himself into it, illustrating all it’s life, humour, comic tragedy in this bohemian world. As a lithographer, his colourful posters for the Moulin Rouge (amongst many other night clubs) were seen all over Paris. His models were outrageous dancers, like Louise Weber, who was also known as La Goulou (the glutton) inventer of the Can Can and the instantly recognisable Jane Avril .
Althou Lautrec’s career only lasted about 20 years, he seems to have produced a vast amount of work. His influences on Manet and Degas can be seen in his behind the scenes images, where the entertainers can be seen at work and relaxation.
The 5ft tall Lautrec was addicted to alcohol and suffered a lot of disability. But this did not stop him going out on the town and capturing the exciting nightlife of Paris. Some of his models are so instantly recognisable that sometimes a mere silhouette will suffice. Lautrec led a relatively short, but exciting life and there are many biographies about him. For a look at more of the artist’s fabulous paintings and prints see HERE
For a more detailed look at this life HERE