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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - French Painter and Printmaker

Updated on August 23, 2009

Artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born on November 24, 1864 in Albi, France. He was born into an aristocratic family; his father was Comte Alphonse-Charles de Toulouse-Lautrec. Lautrec was born with several congenital health problems that were blamed on inbreeding. When he was 12, he broke his leg and when he was 14 broke his other leg. Neither healed properly and as a result his legs stopped growing. The rest of his body continued to grow.

In the 1890s Lautrec moved to Paris, settling in the Montmartre area which was home to many artists and writers. He began painting the people of the area. When the Moulin Rouge opened he drew a series of posters advertising the cabaret. Lautrec was highly influenced by the Impressionist artists of the time including Manet and Degas. He was also influenced by Japanese woodprints. Most of his paintings portrayed the life around him in the bars and cabarets of Montmartre. In his relatively short career Lautrec put out an amazing amount of work. He left behind over 1,000 works of art, almost 400 prints and posters, over 5,000 drawings and even ceramics and stained glass.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died on September 9, 1901 of complications from alcoholism and syphilis. After his death, his mother donated money to build a museum to display his works in Albi.

Today, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is mainly known as the short artist. However, his illustrations have long been popular in posters, notebooks and postcards. Especially well-known are the posters he created for the Moulin Rouge.

Love is when the desire to be desired takes you so badly that you feel you could die of it.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Moulin Rouge - La Goulue 1891

La Goulue arriving at the Moulin Rouge 1892

At the Moulin Rouge: Two Women Waltzing 1892


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  • profile image


    11 years ago

    it was a really big help for my assignment

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    12 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks for the comments everyone, sorry it took me so long to reply.

  • William F. Torpey profile image

    William F Torpey 

    12 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

    Enjoyed this hub, Uninvited Writer, and the art work of Toulouse-Lautrec. I'm not big on art, generally speaking, but I had the pleasure of enjoying the entertainment at the Moulin Rouge in 1957 (and Pigalle across the square) so I have a little taste of the environment Toulouse must have enjoyed.

  • RKHenry profile image


    12 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Very well written hub on a great artist. Henri has always been one of my favorites. The art world needs more hubs like this one.

  • anglnwu profile image


    12 years ago

    Nice background information on this artist. Moulin Rouge makes more sense now.

  • Everyday Miracles profile image

    Becki Rizzuti 

    12 years ago from Indiana, USA

    I didn't know his work before I saw this! Very nice!

  • LondonGirl profile image


    12 years ago from London

    Thanks for this - I'd seen his work, but knew nothing about him.


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