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Raised in an atmosphere of privilege, he loved animals, and owned and rode horses.By age 8, it was clear that he suffered from a congenital illness that weakened his bones.
These teachers fostered unorthodox training and experimental approaches.He walked with a cane and in considerable pain for the rest of his life.Unable to participate in the equestrian pursuits and other pleasures afforded other aristocrats of his age and station, Toulouse-Lautrec took art lessons with a local instructor, Rene Princeteau, who assisted him in channeling his passion for horses into drawing and painting.In addition to being the artist who designed the Moulin Rouge's legendary posters, Toulouse-Lautrec was an aristocrat, dwarf, and party animal who invented a cocktail called the Earthquake (half absinthe, half cognac). Like insects trapped in amber, his paintings, drawings and of course his famous posters preserve the swirl of energy, mix of classes and cultures, and the highs and lows of urban life in nineteenth-century Paris.His favorite pursuits were dressing up (geisha girl and clown get-ups were among his more memorable party outfits) and frequenting Parisian brothels, where he was a V. Toulouse-Lautrec was the first artist to elevate advertising to the status of a fine art.Unlike the Impressionists, (with the notable exception of Degas) who gravitated toward scenes of upper-middle-class leisure, Toulouse-Lautrec chose urban night life, the more disreputable the better.
His diminutive stature allowed him a degree of invisibility, so that he could observe others closely.
This is an extraordinary shift in the history of art, obliterating the boundaries between high (painting, drawing, sculpture) and low (posters, logos and other forms of visual culture) art.
Acknowledging that some of his greatest masterpieces were posters for nightclubs does not in any way diminish their value.
Here the artist is both literally and figuratively emerging: the looseness of the brushwork makes it evident that he has studied Impressionism, but there is a darkness here, perhaps even a hint of the sinister, and a depth to the composition that departs from the buoyancy of the Impressionist palette and mood.
Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa (the long name reflects his high-class social status) was born into an aristocratic family in the South of France.
On the contrary, it set the gold standard for great commercial artists from In contrast to nearly all of the other artists in his circle, Toulouse-Lautrec had no trouble making a living.