Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Created at 03 / 2014
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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Essentials
Who is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec?A Post-impressionist painter from Paris, most famous for his paintings depicting the Moulin Rouge and Montmartre. Watch this video and learn all the facts about this artist and his art.
Toulouse-Lautrec and the Moulin Rouge (1864-1901)
He was crippled from the young age of 13, died from alcoholism at 36. His unique depiction of Bohemian life in Paris of the 19th Century made him an undeniable force in the world of Post-Impressionism.
Lautrec was the first-born child of an Aristocratic French family, but also a tragic result of inbreeding – inflicting him with medical problems from a very young age. This led Lautrec to live an extremely secluded life – allowing him to discover the gift of painting.
Lautrec's turning point came a few years later, when a well-connected family friend persuaded his mother to allow him to move to Paris and study under the acclaimed portrait painter Léon Bonnat.
Lautrec left the strict Bonnat very soon after his arrival, and joined a unique artists' group led by Fernand Cormon - who encouraged his pupils to roam the streets of Paris and search for subjects to paint. Lautrec found his inspiration in the Northern neighborhood of Montmartre.
Montmarte is where Lautrec spent the following 20 years of his life - in the colorful area famous for its bohemian lifestyle and decadent demeanor. Lautrec was especially drawn to the neighborhood's nightlife, and would spend most of his nights drinking and drawing objects and scenes. Some of his most famous and powerful works are those depicting the lives of local prostitutes.
At the grand opening of the Moulin Rouge Cabaret night club (1889), Lautrec was hired to create advertising posters for the event , leading to a new and extremely prolific phase of his career - as the most famous poster artist in Paris.
To cope with his deformed physicality, Lautrec led an extreme existence - surrounding himself with alcohol and prostitutes, as well as well-known artists and philosophers. Some of his most famous acquaintances include names such as Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde.
His excessive lifestyle eventually led to his demise at the young age of 36, but his short lived career had left quite an impact. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's works are still celebrated in galleries and museums around the globe.
Amazing Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Fact
Lautrec's painting La Blanchisseuse is his most expensive work of art – auctioned in 2005 for $22.4m.