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TOULOUSE-LAUTREC

(Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864-1901)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born on November 24, 1864, in southern France. Son and heir of Comte Alphonse-Charles de Toulouse, he was the last in the line of an aristocratic family that dated back a thousand years. Today, the family estate houses the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec. As a child, Henri was weak and often sick. But by the time he was ten years old he had begun to draw and paint.

At age twelve Toulouse-Lautrec broke his left leg and at fourteen his right leg. The bones did not heal properly, and his legs ceased to grow. He reached maturity with a body trunk of normal size but with abnormally short legs. He was only 4 1/2 feet (1.5 meters) tall.

Deprived of the physical life that a normal body would have permitted, Toulouse-Lautrec lived completely for his art. He dwelt in the Montmartre section of Paris, the center of the cabaret entertainment and bohemian life that he loved to depict in his work. Dance halls and nightclubs, racetracks, prostitutes - all these were memorialized on canvas or made into lithographs.

Toulouse-Lautrec was very much an active part of this community. He would sit at a crowded nightclub table, laughing and drinking, meanwhile making swift sketches. The next morning in his studio he would expand the sketches into brightly colored paintings.

In order to join in the Montmartre life - as well as to fortify himself against the crowd's ridicule of his appearance - Toulouse-Lautrec began to drink heavily. By the 1890s the drinking was affecting his health. He was confined first to a sanatorium and then to his mother's care at home, but he could not stay away from alcohol. Toulouse-Lautrec died on September 9, 1901, at the family chateau of Malrome.

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_TOILETTE

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri The Toilette 1896 26 1/2 x 21 1/4 in. (67 x 54 cm) Musee D'Orsay, Paris

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_t-l_YVETTE_GUILBERT

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Yvette Guilbert Greeting the Audience 1894 Oil over reproduction on photographic paper 48 x 28 cm Musee Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_t-l_TWO_WOMEN_WALTZING

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri At the Moulin Rouge: Two Women Waltzing 1892 Oil on cardboard 93 x 80 cm Narodni Galerie, Prague

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_t-l_TWO_HALF-NAKED_WOMEN

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Two Half-Naked Women Seen from behind in the Rue des Moulins Brothel 1894 Oil on cardboard 54 x 39 cm Musee Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_t-l_TWO_GIRLFRIENDS

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri The Two Girlfriends 1894 Oil on cardboard 48 x 34.5 cm Musee Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_t-l_STOCKING

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Woman Pulling up her Stocking 1894 Oil on cardboard 58 x 48 cm Musee d'Orsay, Paris

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_t-l_RUE_DES_MOULINS

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri In the Salon of the Rue des Moulins c. 1894 Oil on canvas 111.5 x 132.5 cm Musee Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_t-l_MEDICAL_INSPECTION

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Rue des Moulins: The Medical Inspection 1894 Oil on cardboard 82 x 59.5 cm National Gallery of Art, Washington

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_t-l_LA_GOULUE_LITHO

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Moulin Rouge: La Goulue 1891 Lithograph in four colors (poster) 191 x 117 cm Private collection

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_t-l_LA_GOULUE

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri La Goulue Arriving at the Moulin Rouge with Two Women 1892 Oil on cardboard 79.4 x 59 cm The Museum of Modern Art, New York

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_T-L_AMBASSADEURS

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Ambassadeurs: Aristide Bruant 1892 Lithograph in six colors (poster) 141 x 98 cm Private collection

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_MONTROUGE

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de "A Montrouge" - Rosa La Rouge 1886-87 Oil on canvas 28 1/2 x 19 1/4 in. (72.3 x 49 cm) Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_DIEUHL

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Justine Dieuhl c. 1891 29 1/4 x 22 3/4 in. (74 x 58 cm) Musee D'Orsay, Paris

 TOULOUSE-LAUTREC_ALONE

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Alone 1896 Oil on board 12 x 15 3/4 in. (31 x 40 cm) Musee D'Orsay, Paris