Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

French (1864 - 1901)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Jane Avril 1899

Biography

Born 1864
Died 1901
Nationality French
Birth place Albi, France
Death place Saint-André-du-Bois, France

Toulouse-Lautrec was born in Albi, near Toulouse in south-west France. He was descended from French aristocratic families, and his parents were first cousins. Perhaps as a result of this, he inherited severe health problems and suffered from a rare bone disorder that meant he walked with a cane and was only four and a half feet tall. He became something of a celebrity in the Montmartre district of Paris where he lived and worked, relishing the hedonistic bohemian life there. His posters for famous performance venues such as the Moulin Rouge or the Jardin du Paris are some of the most recognisable images to emerge from fin-de-siècle France. His debauched lifestyle and addiction to alcohol eventually took its toll, he died in September 1901, aged just thirty-six.

Glossary terms

  • A printmaking technique using a stone or zinc plate to which the image is applied with a greasy material. After wetting the plate, greasy ink is applied. The ink sticks only to the drawn image and not the wet surface, thus creating a reproduction when applied to paper.