Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa or simply Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator whose immersion in the colourful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 19th century yielded a collection of exciting, elegant and provocative images of the modern and sometimes decadent life of those times. Toulouse-Lautrec is among the best-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period, a group which includes Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France, the firstborn child of Comte Alphonse Charles de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa and Adèle Zoë Tapié de Celeyran. He was therefore a member of an aristocratic family (descendants of the Counts of Toulouse and Lautrec and the Viscounts of Montfa, a village and commune of the Tarn department of southern France).

He became an important Post-Impressionist painter, art nouveau illustrator, and lithographer, and recorded in his works many details of the late-19th-century bohemian lifestyle in Paris. Toulouse-Lautrec contributed a number of illustrations to the magazine Le Rire during the mid-1890s.After initially failing college entrance exams, Henri passed at his second attempt and completed his studies. During a stay in Nice his progress in painting and drawing impressed Princeteau, who persuaded his parents to let him return to Paris and study under the acclaimed portrait painter Léon Bonnat. Henris mother had high ambitions and, with the aim of Henri becoming a fashionable and respected painter, used the family influence to get him into Bonnats studio.

Toulouse-Lautrec was drawn to Montmartre, the area of Paris famous for its bohemian lifestyle and the haunt of artists, writers, and philosophers. Studying with Bonnat placed Henri in the heart of Montmartre, an area he rarely left over the next 20 years. After Bonnat took a new job, Henri moved to the studio of Fernand Cormon in 1882 and studied for a further five years and established the group of friends he kept for the rest of his life. At this time he met Émile Bernard and Vincent van Gogh. Cormon, whose instruction was more relaxed than Bonnats, allowed his pupils to roam Paris, looking for subjects to paint. In this period Toulouse-Lautrec had his first encounter with a prostitute (reputedly sponsored by his friends), which led him to paint his first painting of prostitutes in Montmartre, a woman rumoured to be called Marie-Charlet.From 1889 until 1894, Henri took part in the Independent Artists Salon on a regular basis. He made several landscapes of Montmartre.

An alcoholic for most of his adult life, Toulouse-Lautrec was placed in a sanatorium shortly before his death. He died from complications due to alcoholism and syphilis at the family estate in Malromé at the age of 36. He is buried in Verdelais, Gironde, a few kilometres from the Château Malromé, where he died.

Nationality

French

Genres

Post-Impressionism

Years

1864 – 1901

Wikipedia

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec paintings: