Interesting Facts about Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-interesting Lautrec's information

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a French artist, printmaker, draughtsman, caricaturist, and illustrator who immersed himself in the colorful and theater life of Paris in the late nineteenth century, resulting in a collection of alluring, elegant, and intriguing images of the modern, sometimes opulent affairs of the time.

Along with Paul CĂ©zanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Georges Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec is one of the most well-known post-impressionist painters.

1. Lautrec's academic experience, ironically, exposed him to the avant-garde.

Lautrec studied under academic painters Leon Bonnat and Fernand Cormon as a young artist. While he would later fight against academic tradition, Lautrec's early education shaped him in a variety of ways. Bonnat's workshop in Paris's Montmartre region introduced Lautrec to the bustling bohemian district where he would spend the majority of his career.

Cormon, who was less rigid than Bonnat in his education, enabled his students to explore their surroundings for artistic topics, and it was during this time that Lautrec began painting café and brothel life. Lautrec also formed lifelong ties with fellow post-impressionists Vincent Van Gogh and Emile Bernard.


2. He was a technological trailblazer.

Lautrec's ideas are possibly best reflected in his prints and posters, as he was a key character in post-impressionism. His current adoption of the latest color lithography methods – which allow bigger prints and bolder, more subtle colors and textures – places him at the core of modern printmaking.

He was the first and most successful artist to use the medium to make "fine art." A spattered ink technique known as crachis, one of Lautrec's most noteworthy technical inventions, is used to stunning effect in many of his paintings, emphasizing the hazy and shimmering feeling of atmosphere in his images of Paris life.


3. While he would later despise the bourgeois lifestyle as an adult, Lautrec was born into a family of aristocrats.

Henri marie raymond de toulouse-lautrec monfa was born in Albi, France, and is a descendant of three noble lineages that date back to the Crusades.

His father, alphonse charles comte de toulouse-lautrec monfa, was an outdoorsman and womanizer, as well as a true blue-blooded eccentric (he reportedly once arrived at his parents' château in a tutu for lunch) – while the comtesse, née adèle zo tapié de celeyran, was a devoutly religious woman and doting mother. Lautrec would have acquired the title of comte if he had outlived his father.

4. Lautrec was born with a congenital bone defect.

Lautrec fractured his right femur at the age of 13 and his left femur at the age of 14. His legs stopped developing because the breaks did not heal properly. Lautrec was only 4'11" tall as an adult, with a well-developed torso but small legs.

Lautrec's frail bones and height restriction were thought to be caused by a hereditary condition, possibly pycnodysostosis. Lautrec fostered his passion for the arts while limited to his bed and unable to partake in traditional aristocratic pleasures like hunting and horseback riding.


5. Lautrec is associated with the Montmartre of the Belle Époque.

Montmartre became a center for the avant-garde because of its affordable rentals and active nightlife scene. Lautrec, a social butterfly, visited the neighborhood's cafés, cabarets, and brothels, being a colorful bohemian fixture.

Lautrec's diminutive stature enabled him to study his subjects unseen, providing him with a rare frank vision of life in Montmartre. From performers and prostitutes to nobles and academics, his work depicts a wide cross-section of the district's people.


6. Lautrec was a talented chef.

Lautrec, a famous foodie, enjoyed cooking and throwing wild dinner parties. His collection of recipes, titled l'art de la cuisine, was released decades after his death by his good friend and art dealer, Maurice Joyant.

Among Lautrec's innovative and somewhat bizarre dishes are preparations of porpoise, squirrel, grasshopper, and heron. "Having killed several marmots sunbathing themselves belly up in the sun with their noses in the air one daybreak in September, skin them and gently put aside the lump of fat which is wonderful for rubbing into the stomachs of pregnant ladies," he says in one of his cooking instructions. "Cut up the marmot and cook it like stewed hare, which has a distinct and wild aroma."

7. Vincent Van Gogh was Toulouse-teacher. 

Toulouse-lautrec encountered other budding post-impressionist artists during his five-year stay at fernand cormon's workshop in montmartre, including Ă©mile bernard and vincent van gogh, whom he sketched in pastel. Toulouse painting was significantly affected by the acquaintances he formed at Cormon's studio.


8. He was disinherited by his father.

The comte was dissatisfied with his son's decision to abandon the family estate in order to pursue an artistic career. His father completely disinherited Lautrec after realizing that he was signing his art with the family name. His uncle, who appeared to be similarly enraged, threw some of his paintings into the flames. Lautrec's mother, on the other hand, continued to assist her son financially.

9. For the Moulin Rouge, he designed legendary posters.

The newly launched cabaret commissioned Lautrec to create a series of posters. His first painting, La Goulue at the Moulin Rouge (1891-92), features dancer Louise Weber, also known as la goulue ("the glutton"), who is known for creating the French Cancan.

Lautrec's large-scale posters, which celebrated famous performers, helped the theatre gain international acclaim quickly. His singular graphic sense came to characterize the style of belle Ă©poque paris, and he was exhibited all throughout the city. Indeed, Parisian enthusiasts were known to follow the workers as they hung Lautrec's posters, hoping to tear them off and take them home before the glue set.


10. Lautrec's eye for stardom foreshadowed Andy Warhol's pop art.

Lautrec's highly personalized representations of Montmartre entertainers propelled his subjects to international notoriety, elevating advertising to high art for the first time. Performers Jane Avril and Louise weber, cabaret star Yvette Guilbert, and vocalist Aristide Bruant became household names after being immortalized in Lautrec's poster art. His natural grip of notoriety and mixing of commercial and fine art foreshadows the pop art trend, particularly Andy Warhol's work.


11. He was a prolific writer.

Lautrec produced 350 lithographic posters and illustrations, 737 canvas paintings, and over 5,000 drawings throughout his brief career of fewer than 20 years. His work is regarded as a pillar of modernism, inspiring artists such as Pablo Picasso, Alphonse Mucha, Andy Warhol, Diane Arbus, and Chuck Close, among others.

12. Toulouse-Lautrec was influenced by the nightlife of Paris.

Lautrec went into the theatrical underworld of Paris because he felt ostracized by the upper society. He was less concerned about his image amid sex workers and entertainers there and was artistically inspired by the bohemian environment. A total of 150 drawings and paintings by the artist depict ladies he encountered in brothels.


13. Prostitutes were among his favorite topics.

Lautrec's humanistic depictions of sex workers, such as the striking woman in front of a mirror, exhibit exceptional empathy (1897). While his affection for prostitutes undoubtedly included the acquisition of their goods, colleague painter Edouard Vuillard commented that "the actual reasons for his actions were moral considerations... Lautrec was too proud to accept his fate as a physical freak, an aristocrat whose ugly look separated him from his peers. He saw a parallel between his own situation and the prostitute's moral poverty." Lautrec's output contains 50 paintings on the theme, as well as several drawings and prints, including the elles lithograph series from 1896, which depicts brothel life.

14. Japanese art impacted Lautrec's work.

Ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the Edo period were popular in fin-de-siècle Paris, where they had a strong influence on impressionist painters. Lautrec drew inspiration from the Japanese style, as did degas and Manet, to whom his work owes an homage.

Ukiyo-e prints are known for their unorthodox compositional angles and cropping, as well as their use of silhouette, emphasis on contour, and flattening of space. Lautrec's focus on individual performers harkens back to the "pictures of the floating world," which frequently included well-known actors, courtesans, and musicians.


15. Lautrec had a drinking problem.

His aristocratic peers mocked and scorned Lautrec's infirmity and physical appearance (and society at large). Lautrec may have turned to alcohol in reaction to the physiological and socio-emotional challenges he was experiencing as a result of his condition. He had a special affinity for absinthe, and it is alleged that he kept it in a hollowed-out walking stick so that he'd never be without it.


16. Lautrec was incarcerated for his drinking, but his paintings helped him get out.

Lautrec's family committed him to folie saint-James, a sanatorium in Neuilly-sur-Seine, when he collapsed due to delirium tremens in February 1899. Lautrec created 39 crayon and chalk drawings of circus figures during his three months in the institution, including the evocative at the circus: the Spanish walk (1899), which he completed entirely from memory. His doctors were persuaded by the ambitious series that his condition was improving, and he was released. "I've bought my release with my drawings," Lautrec said as he walked away.


17. He was Oscar Wilde's buddy and enthusiastic supporter.

While Lautrec was studying in London in the 1890s, the two became close. Lautrec was a big advocate of Wilde when he was accused of sodomy and gross obscenity in 1895. Oscar Wilde's painting was finished on the night of the trial—from memories, like Wilde, who felt his chances were slim, was too agitated to sit.

18. On his deathbed, he had some harsh words for his father.

Lautrec died of a stroke in 1901, most likely as a result of consequences from drinking and syphilis. He was transferred to his mother's chateau, Château Malromé in Saint-André-du-Bois, to recuperate after being partially paralyzed. Lautrec died at the age of 36 not long after, on September 9th.

His father, who had been mostly absent throughout his son's life, showed up at his bedside just before he died. "Je savais, papa, que vous ne manqueriez pas l'hallali" ("I knew, papa, that you wouldn't miss the kill"), Lautrec is said to have said. Lautrec uttered his final words after his father did not respond: "le vieux con!" ("The old knucklehead!")


19. After his death, his mother worked to promote his work.

Lautrec's mother, who had long been his staunchest supporter and champion, donated monies to establish a museum in his hometown of Albi. The musée Toulouse-Lautrec, which is housed in the old palais de la berbie, now has over a thousand of Lautrec's paintings, making it the world's greatest public collection.

20. His influence can be seen on the big screen as well.

Lautrec's larger-than-life persona has been adapted for a number of films, including some critically acclaimed films. Lautrec is played by josé ferrer in john huston's moulin rouge (1952), john leguizamo in baz luhrmann's moulin rouge! (2001), and vincent menjou cortes in woody allen's midnight in paris (2001). (2011).


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