Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa (24 November 1864 – 9 September 1901) was a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman, caricaturist and illustrator whose immersion in the colorful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 19th century allowed him to produce a collection of enticing, elegant, and provocative images of the modern, sometimes decadent, affairs of those times.
Toulouse-Lautrec is among the best-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period, with Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Georges Seurat.
In a 2005 auction at Christie's auction house, La Blanchisseuse, his early painting of a young laundress, sold for US$22.4 million and set a new record for the artist for a price at auction.
Born into the aristocracy, Toulouse-Lautrec broke both his legs around the time of his adolescence and, due to an unknown medical condition, was very short as an adult due to his undersized legs. In addition to his alcoholism, he developed an affinity for brothels and prostitutes that directed the subject matter for many of his works.
Artist as subject
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The Green Goddess haunted a nation and fuelled its art, including that of Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec.