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Toulouse Lautrec

"Pencils are not wood and lead, but thoughts of the fingers."


Notes of biography

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, born Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, was born in Albi, in south-western France in 1864. His family belonged to the French nobility. His father, an amateur horse-rider, hunter and falconry, was an eccentric. Lautrec was destined to follow in his footsteps. In 1878, then again in 1879, he successively breaks both his legs. Despite the care that he lavished on him, because of defective calcification, his legs do not continue to grow and Lautrec remains sickly. In order to stave off the boredom of his long stations of immobility, he starts to draw and to paint.
After having received the first part of his bachelor’s degree, he decides to stop his studies and learn art from Rene Princeteau, a deaf and mute animal painter, a friend of his father’s. This leads him to the studio of Léon Bonnat in 1882, then toward that of Fernand Cormon. Lautrec takes a studio in Monmartre in 1884. He is 20 years old when he abandons all academic direction and follows his own inspiration and whims. He becomes friends with Bruant and works for the cabaret ‘Le Mirlton’ and the journal of the same name. He frequents places of pleasure, the Moulin Rouge, the Moulin and the Galetter and the music halls. La Goulue, Jane Avril and Yvette Guibert become his favourite models. Lautrec designs, produces sketches and other studies, numerous silhouettes and preparatory drawings. His lithograph plates are the objects of a lot of research. He collaborates with ‘La Revue Blanche’ and with ‘L’Escarmouch’.
He exhibits for the first time in 1887 at the Salon des XX in Brussels. He exhibits in diverse revivals at the Cercle Volney and at the Salon des Indépendants.
In 1893-1984, he regularly visits boarded up mansions, he lives as he needs, and works enormously, studies the mundane and becomes intimate with prostitutes. In 1897, he moves to another studio. Lautrec paints and draws in an intensive manner, but suffers from physical disgrace and the irony of women in this respect; he glides insensitively into the excess of drink. His friends become worried about him and try to break him of his habits by encouraging him to travel. Nothing helps. In 1899, sick, he is led to a sick house in Neuilly to take a cure of detoxification. Leaving, he will now live mainly in Bordeaux with friends of his family; his stays in Paris become rare and brief. Feeling very ill, Lautrec returns to the Château de Malromé to be near his mother.
He continues until he has no strength left, he dies on September 9, 1901.
It was only after the retrospective exhibition at the Gallery Goupil in 1914, that Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec gravitates towards the echelon of glory. Numerous monographic exhibitions and retrospectives are nevertheless organised around the world, placing the artist at the pinnacle of art. Cabarets, theatres, bordellos, hippodromes, fairs, circus’, Lautrec produces, in the course of his brief life, more than 1000 paintings, more than 5000 drawings, and 369 lithographs. His work is indivisible with the Belle Époque, Art Nouveau, notably by the importance that the artist gives to minor art: posters, illustrations of menus or programs, tablecloths and book illustrations.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
*« Lautrec par Lautrec », P. Huisman et M.G. Dortu, La Bibliothèque des Arts, Paris, 1964 All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « Toulouse-Lautrec », André Fermigier, Ed. F. Hazan, Paris, 1969
  • « Toulouse Lautrec, les lumières de la nuit » J.&C. Frèches, Ed. Gallimard 1991
  • « Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec », Matthias Arnold, Ed. Taschen, 2000
  • « Toulouse Lautrec », Serge Fauchereau, Ed. Cercle d’Art, 2001
  • « Henri de Toulouse Lautrec », J.-J. Lévêque, Ed. ACR, 2001
  • « Toulouse Lautrec et l’affiche », Bertrand Lorquin, Ed. Gallimard, 2002
  • « Moi, La Goulue de Toulouse-Lautrec… », M. Souvais, Ed. Publibook, 2008
  • « Le cirque au temps de Lautrec », cat. d'expo., Musée Raymond Lafage, 2016
  • « Aspects de Toulouse-Lautrec », André Nolat, Ed. Publibook, 2017
  • « Toulouse-L. à la Belle Epoque », D. Marchesseau, cat. d'expo., Fond. P. Gianadda, 2017
To read from the artist :
  • « Toulouse-L., correspondance », H. D. Schimmel, coll. Art et Artistes, Gallimard, 1992
  • « Toulouse-Lautrec et la photographie », Musée des Beaux Arts de Berne, Ed. Hirmer, 2015
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Art movements

+ JAPONISM / 1880-1895 / Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover