Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec came from an aristocratic
background, born the son of an earl. Even as a schoolboy he showed
a talent for drawing. By 14 he had suffered two horse back riding
accidents, combined with a serious bone disease which eventually
left him crippled for life. His body continued to grow but not
his legs, he would remain only five feet tall and suffer pain
and embarrassment his entire life.
At 18 Lautrec moved to Montmartre in Paris to study art . He worked
with artists Louis Anquentin,
Emile Bernard, Degas, Van Gogh and others. He became a frequenter
of the the cafes, cabarets and brothels of the neighborhood, drawing
from them inspirations for his artistic themes.
As the artist's stature grew, several magazines wanted to publish
his work, including Le
Rire. His subjects, as well as street life, included some
of the most famous music-hall performers, with whom he became
friends, such as Yvette Guilbert,
La Goulue Jane
Avril, May Milton, May
Belfort and several others.
He became absorbed in the night life of the Montmartre until he
himself was an indispensable part of it.
"His (poster) masterpieces define the limits of poster style:
where Cheret epitomizes a
completely external, impersonal viewpoint, Lautrec is the embodiment
of internal, personal vision with a point to make, not, to be
sure, a moral judgment, but rather an amused, wry observation
on the passing scene.
The years of night life and excessive intake of absinthe began
to take their toll, and his physical condition became very fragile.
He had to be taken through the Paris World's Fair of 1900 in a
wheel-chair, and the following year he died in his country home.
His legacy in poster art continues to astound us. Despite the
smallness of his output (Cheret
created almost 1000 posters) as compared to the rest of his artistic
oeuvre, Toulouse-Lautrec proved himself a true genius of the poster,
and his position in the poster pantheon has never been seriously
challenged" (Wine Spectator)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - Poster Gallery
click on each image for details and larger image
"Marriage is a dinner that begins with dessert."
"Over 150 posters for sale in my Lautrec Gallery,
divided into five sections." Greg
First section: Maitre de l'Affiche (1895-1900)
Second section: Original pages (8) from Le
Rire the famous satirical weekly magazine (printed 1894-1897)
The "Elles" Collection (11) 1952 Mourlot printing of "Elles" for collectors.
Fourth section: The "Nouveau
Salon des Cent" portfolio consists of 100 Original Full size Contemporary
created by the world's best graphic designers as a tribute to Toulouse-Lautrec.
Scroll down to view over 150 designs
Greg's featured Lautrec
The Moulin Rouge is, indeed, a masterpiece in every respect. (Wine Spectator 40)
Moulin Rouge, La Goulue
From "Maitre de l'Affiche" PL.122 printed 1898