Henri Toulouse-Lautrec was born on November 24, 1864 in Albi, France. I like his paintings but really knew nothing about the artist until I started research for this post. Cora Michael of the Metropolitan Museum of Art describes him as “an aristocratic, alcoholic dwarf known for his louche lifestyle.” He painted and document the nightlife of late 19th century Paris, particularly Montmartre’s seedy side. The film Moulin Rouge gives a fictionalized view of what the times were like when Toulouse-Lautrec lived and painted; you might recall the Toulouse-Lautrec character played by John Leguizamo in the film.
Toulouse-Lautrec was fond of painting horses. This is one of his early works painted in 1891.
One of my favorite posters is Jane Avril – I have a small copy hanging in my office.
Sadly, Toulouse-Lautrec’s alcoholism lead to his quick decline; he died in 1901 at 36 of complications from alcoholism and syphilis.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
National Gallery of Art’s Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre exhibit
What Ailed Toulouse-Lautrec? Scientists Zero In on a Key Gene. New York Times article that reviews what disease Toulouse-Lautrec may have had that caused his dwarfism.