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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de


The Toilette
1896
oil on canvas
67 x 54 cm
Musée D'Orsay, Paris
http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/home.html

French painter and illustrator, whose immersion in the colorful and theatrical life yielded an œuvre of exciting, elegant and provocative images of the modern and sometimes decadent life of those times. Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 – 1901) is known, along with Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin, as one of the greatest painters of the Post-Impressionist period.

Toulouse-Lautrec was an aristocrat, the son and heir of Comte Alphonse-Charles de Toulouse and last in line of a family that dated back a thousand years. By the time he was 10 he had begun to draw and paint. At 12 young Toulouse-Lautrec broke his left leg and at 14 his right leg. The bones failed to heal properly, and his legs stopped growing. He reached young adulthood with a body trunk of normal size but with abnormally short legs.
An alcoholic for most of his adult life, he was placed in a sanatorium shortly before his death. He died from complications due to alcoholism and syphilis at the age of 36. His last words were: "Le vieux con!" ("The old fool!", although the word "con" can be meant in both simple and vulgar terms). This was his goodbye to his father.

After Toulouse-Lautrec's death, his mother and his art dealer promoted his art. His mother contributed funds for a museum to be created in Albi, his birthplace, to house his works. The Toulouse-Lautrec Museum now owns the world's largest collection of works by the painter.
His debt to the Impressionists, in particular the more figurative painters Manet and Degas, is apparent. His style was also influenced by the classical Japanese woodprints which became popular in art circles in Paris.
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/flipcard