Artist biography

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864-1901

French painter, draughtsman and lithographer. Born at Albi, son of Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec. As a result of falls while a boy, broke both legs and was left a dwarf, with a normal torso on two stunted legs. Began to draw at an early age and in 1882 went to Paris to study under Princeteau, a painter of animals. Studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts 1882-6, under Bonnat and Cormon; met Emile Bernard, Anquetin and van Gogh. Settled in Montmartre in 1886. Took as subject-matter the dance halls, cabarets and music-halls, such as the Moulin Rouge and the Moulin de la Galette, and dancers and singers like La Goulue, Jane Avril and Yvette Guilbert. Began to make posters in 1891 and colour prints 1892; his posters were appreciated sooner than his paintings. Made many paintings and drawings in 1892-5 inspired by life in the Parisian brothels. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Boussod-Valadon, Paris, 1893. From 1898 his health began to deteriorate seriously due to alcoholism. Died at Malromé .

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.726