View Full Version : Master of Pastels-September 2005-Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

A Few Pigments
09-01-2005, 07:36 AM

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French Post-Impressionist Painter and Printmaker, 1864-1901.


C 1882-83, Self Portrait in front of a Mirror, oil on cardboard http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=8787


A pastel portrait of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec by Giovanni Boldini the Italian-French portrait painter. Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena California. Pastel on paper. 63.5 x 41.6 cm (25 x 16-3/8 in.) http://www.jssgallery.org/Other_Artists/Boldini_Giovanni/Henri_de_Toulouse-Lautrec.html

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Born November 24,1864, Died September 09, 1901 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_de_Toulouse-Lautrec
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Toulouse-Lautrec was born in Albi, Tarn in the Midi-Pyrénées Region of France. From an old aristocratic family which had lost much of its prestige, he was the son of Comte Alphonse and Comtesse Adèle de Toulouse-Lautrec, and their only child. At age 12, Lautrec broke his left leg, and at 14 his right leg, and because of a genetic disorder which prevented his bones from healing properly, his legs ceased to grow. He reached maturity with a body trunk of normal size but with abnormally short legs. He was only 4 1/2 feet (1.5 meters) tall.

Unable to participate in activities a normal body would have permitted, Toulouse-Lautrec lived for his art. He became an important post-impressionist painter, art nouveau illustrator, and lithographer, and recorded the bohemian lifestyle of Paris at the end of the 19th century. In the mid-1890s, Toulouse-Lautrec contributed illustrations to the humorous magazine, Le Rire.

He was deemed "the soul of Montmartre", the Parisian quarter where he made his home. His paintings portray life at the Moulin Rouge and other Montmartre and Parisian cabarets and theaters, and in the brothels that he frequented regularly (and where he perhaps contracted syphilis). Two of the well-known people he portrayed were singer Yvette Guilbert, and Louise Weber, known as the outrageous La Goulue, a dancer who created the "French Can-Can."

Toulouse-Lautrec taught painting to Suzanne Valadon, one of his models, and encouraged her efforts.

An alcoholic for most of his adult life, shortly before his death he entered a sanatorium.

He died at the family estate in Malromé and is buried in Verdelais, Gironde, a few miles from his birthplace.

Before 2005, his paintings sold for as much as $14.5 million.

Bio: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/lautrec/lautrec_bio.htm
The following biographical information from Compton's Encyclopedia Online.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born on Nov. 24, 1864, in Albi, France. He was an aristocrat, the son and heir of Comte Alphonse-Charles de Toulouse and last in line of a family that dated back a thousand years. Henri's father was rich, handsome, and eccentric. His mother was overly devoted to her only living child. Henri was weak and often sick. By the time he was 10 he had begun to draw and paint.

At 12 young Toulouse-Lautrec broke his left leg and at 14 his right leg. The bones failed to heal properly, and his legs stopped growing. He reached young adulthood with a body trunk of normal size but with abnormally short legs. He was only 4 1/2 feet (1.5 meters) tall.

Deprived of the kind of life that a normal body would have permitted, Toulouse-Lautrec lived wholly for his art. He stayed in the Montmartre section of Paris, the center of the cabaret entertainment and bohemian life that he loved to paint. Circuses, dance halls and nightclubs, racetracks--all these spectacles were set down on canvas or made into lithographs.

Toulouse-Lautrec was very much a part of all this activity. He would sit at a crowded nightclub table, laughing and drinking, and at the same time he would make swift sketches. The next morning in his studio he would expand the sketches into bright-colored paintings.

In order to become a part of the Montmartre life--as well as to protect himself against the crowd's ridicule of his appearance--Toulouse-Lautrec began to drink heavily. In the 1890s the drinking started to affect his health. He was confined to a sanatorium and to his mother's care at home, but he could not stay away from alcohol. Toulouse-Lautrec died on Sept. 9, 1901, at the family château of Malromé. Since then his paintings and posters--particularly the 'Moulin Rouge' group--have been in great demand and bring high prices at auctions and art sales.

You can hear a midi file of the Can-Can, by Offenbach at this site. It was often played in the Moulin-Rouge, which Toulouse-Lautrec painted. http://www.pembinatrails.ca/vincentmassey/swaweb/ea/eaartw14.html

Toulouse-Lautrec Quotations:

"Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge."

Websites dedicated to Toulouse-Lautrec:
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Website dedicated to Lautrec. http://www.toulouselautrec.free.fr/home.htm
Website about Lautrec. http://www.lautrec.info/

Works in pastels and related media by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec


1887 Toulouse-Lautrec Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, Pastels, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/collection/catalog/archImage.asp?SKID=144&LANGID=0


1888, At the Cirque Fernando: Rider on a White Horse, Pastel and gouache on board http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=8814


1889, The English Girl at the "Star" in Le Havre, red and white chalk on paper http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/lautrec/p-lautrec20.htm


1891, Portrait of Georges-Henri Manuel, Pastel on paper, laid down on canvas http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=8851


1892, The Ballet 'Papa Chrysanthemem', Pencil, colored paper, pastel and watercolor http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=8870


c. 1893, In the Salon, pastel, gouache, oil, pencil, and watercolor on cardboard, 53 x 79.7 cm (20 7/8 x 31 3/8 in.), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser, 1978. http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2005/toulouse/245-056.htm


1893, Le Divan Japonais, chalk lithography http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/lautrec/p-lautrec12.htm


1894, Salón v rue des Moulins, Pastel, kartón, 111 × 132 cm. Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi. http://www.odaha.com/view.php?author=lautrec&code=46


1895, La Revue Blanche, chalk lithography http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/lautrec/p-lautrec21.htm


1896, Elles: Woman in a Corset, Black and blue chalk and oil on paper, laid down on canvas http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=8952


c 1897, Woman in a Armchair, Pastel on beige paper http://www.insecula.com/us/oeuvre/photo_ME0000071301.html

Picture Archives
Artcyclopedia http://www. artcyclopedia.com/artists/toulouse-lautrec_henri_de.html

The Athenaeum, 253 works online by Toulouse-Lautrec http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/by_artist.php?sort=date_up&id=382
CGFA http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/lautrec/index.html

Rasiel's Wallpapers, a website with 11 paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec. From 640 x 480 to 1600 x 1200. (Click on the size of the scan you wish to view) http://www.rasiel.com/haggis/toulouse1.html

10-13-2005, 06:37 AM
I have only just discovered this thread from September ... Some really interesting stuff here. Thank you for all your research, Bruce.

A Few Pigments
10-13-2005, 07:14 AM
Hi E-J,
I just thought I’d mention that all of the past MOP’s are in the Pastel Library at this link Masters of Pastels - INDEX http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=287462

I’m still working on a copy of one of Renoirs pastels in the Masters of Pastels-August 2005- Pierre-Auguste Renoir http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3743104#post3743104

It’s sitting in my den wondering why I haven’t finished it yet…and so am I. I’ll have to get back to it soon. I don’t have much left to do on it

10-13-2005, 07:57 AM
Thanks for the link. Incredible that these threads have been running for a year now! :eek:

10-17-2005, 10:16 AM
why did Lautrec use cardboard for so much of his work?

10-17-2005, 10:38 AM
Hi jmgbg. Welcome to the forum!

My guess is that Toulouse-Lautrec was simply grabbing what was cheapest and most available (I understand he sometimes took the cardboard from the back of his sketchpads, etc ... so presumably it wasn't archival quality stuff). With pastel there is no worry about oils seeping into the support, but other artists painting in oils have used cardboard too, over the years ... Vuillard was known to use cardboard for some of his best paintings, taken from the bottom of packing boxes! I'm not sure to what extent the stability of either artist's work has suffered due to this choice of support.

10-17-2005, 04:15 PM

You've been presenting some great info.
Thank you so much for your effort !!



A Few Pigments
10-17-2005, 07:05 PM
Hi Bringer,
Thank you very much. I really enjoy doing all this research.

Hi E-J,
Thank you and you’re right about many other artists using unconventional supports. I wonder if they would have done the same if they were alive today.

Hi jmgbg,
I guess it seems from this thread that he used a lot of cardboard, but actually most of his work was done on traditional supports. Cardboard though was dirt cheep and easy to find so he did use it as many other artists of the time did. Van Gogh for instance also used cardboard for some of his oil paintings.

Toulouse-Lautrec was a post-impressionist painter, an art nouveau illustrator, a lithographer, and contributed illustrations to the humorous magazine, Le Rire. During his short life he did 737 canvases, 275 watercolours, 368 prints and posters and 5,084 drawings. Some of his oil paintings were done on unprepared cotton or more often on unprepared linen.

mat k
07-25-2006, 01:00 PM
Please accept my appologies for dragging this topic back to the top but i have a few questions i would like to ask regarding the artist toulouse lautrec.

I have been researching my fathers side of our family tree and have discovered he was related to henri or atleast to a part of the family. My grandmother on my fathers side was florence toulouse who had twin sisters called may and beatrice toulouse and a brother bert toulouse.

It is stated in a post above that henri was the last in line but it has been knowledge in my family for many years that he is an ancestor although the connection has never been made between my grandmother and henri.

Can anyone help to solve this ?

A Few Pigments
07-25-2006, 11:11 PM
Hi mat k,

I think your conclusion that your fathers side of your family could be related to a part of the de Toulouse-Lautrec family could be correct. Henri never married, but he did have a mistress named Suzanne Valadon. History records that Henri never had any children, but history doesn’t always record everything. All I can tell you is to keep researching this.

I posted two links below that might help you a bit. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Good luck with your search.

WikipediA, Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_de_Toulouse-Lautrec

Suzanne Valadon, born Marie-Clémentine Valadon at Bessines-sur-Gartempe, Haute-Vienne, France, WikipediA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzanne_Valadon