Henri de

France • 1864−1901
Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lotrek-Monfa (fr Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa, November 24, 1864, Albi - September 9, 1901, Mallemar Castle, Gironde) - French post-impressionist painter, earl and rich heir, absinthe, cabaret and dens.

Features of the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: the art world of the works of Toulouse-Lautrec, withdrawn, cramped, crowded, noisy, cynical, sad and passionate, is unmistakable. Montmartre stars, street song singers, cabaret dancers, clowns, circus performers, prostitutes, seamstresses, laundresses, red and white. Toulouse-Lautrec, under the influence of Japanese prints, enjoys lithography - and creates advertising posters for places of entertainment, for the first time in Western history, bringing this genre to the level of a work of art. The artists, for whom Lautrek painted and printed posters, woke up famous after the night billboards in Paris.

Famous paintings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: "Aristide Bruand at the Ambassador", "Clowness Sha-U-Kao", "Yvette Gilber bows to the public", "Dancing at the Moulin Rouge", "Japanese sofa".

The image of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is surrounded by so many legends and conjectures that biographers often spend hundreds of pages to dethrone them. Instead, they offer pathetic excuses to the genius: he was an alcoholic, because he was a cripple, he lived in brothels, because he was a dwarf, and finally became an artist because he was terrible with himself.

Lautrec himself probably would have preferred a couple of legends to this humiliating excuse. For example, about the fact that he always carried nutmeg in his pocket - to add to an alcoholic cocktail that was invented on the go. Toulouse-Lautrec got great pleasure, pumping friends with virtuoso blends of port wine with absinthe, for example. Friends in return invited him as a bartender and decorator to their parties. He was in love dozens of times, mutually and unresponsively, and always found a way to express his feelings, directly or eccentrically. Not daring to talk and dream, he thought out how to have it differently: on the feet of Mysia Nathanson, the wife of one of his friends, he could spend hours painting imaginary landscapes with a dry brush. All this time she was pretending to read, leaning against a tree in the garden.

Prostitutes from the best houses of tolerance wore flowers to his workshop and allowed themselves to be drawn at any time of the day or night - asleep, brooding, bored, waiting for clients, playing lesbian games, tender and challenging. He was their prince from a fairy tale and organized breakfasts with expensive wine and sweets.
He loved women with red hair and tall, strong men. The artist was amused when his cousin walked 40 centimeters taller than him in the streets of Paris. The fate of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the heir to a rich aristocratic family, determined the body and therefore he always looked for corporeality as a manifestation of the essence of man. And found.


Lautrec remained to live for several months, he came to die to his mother, Countess Adele, after an expensive lunatic asylum for the rich, after attacks of delirium tremens, paralysis and complete desperation. The 37-year-old artist was practically unable to write then, he sat down to rest after each stroke. “Painting didn't make my legs longer”- he said grimly. Yes, everything was exactly the opposite: this short legs made the painting of Lautrec unique and opened up a new look at the visual appeal in art.

Little Henri was a brilliant student, in many disciplines he occupied the first places in school rankings, although due to illnesses and lengthy rehabilitation in the southern resorts he often missed six months of classes. A descendant of pampered, headstrong, pampered aristocrats, Henri would surely successfully burn his life and money on hunting, balls and races, if he had grown tall and handsome. But a hereditary disease, fragile bones, broken legs, which led to exhausting procedures and months of immobility, forced the boy to look for other sources of joy. The picture was already then for a teenager, Henri gave inner strength and a feeling of fullness of life.

A huge number of female portraits of the brush Laotk are portraits of their legs (1, 2, 3, 4). Mad, shameless, wildly popular, passionate cancan contributed to this, of course. On the posters and portraits of Toulouse-Lautrec, it is women’s legs that often set the dynamics, draw the composition, and lead the viewer.


When the father of Toulouse-Lautrec, Earl Adolph, realized that he could not wait for the son of his exploits in the hunt, all that remained was to teach him to draw horses. "Only you can now daub them and ..." - he said bitterly to the failed heir.

Frustrated father could not make the son a bigger gift - he found him a deaf-mute drawing teacher. The animalist Rene Prensto was deaf from birth, but he received a higher education, was engaged in gymnastics, went to balls, and successfully exhibited at the Salon. He learned to speak and lip-read the interlocutor — a terrific example for a desperate teenager, methodically ejecting family, love, children, pleasure and glory from his imaginary adult life.

The lessons on the anatomy of a horse or dog in the workshop of Prensto Lautrec learned as well as the lessons of vitality and willpower. Later, he will happily discover swimming as the only available sport, he will buy a gymnastic trainer once and in between drawing will enjoy the possibilities of his body. All the life Lautrek considered himself an amateur artist, comparing his works with paintings Degas and Van Gogh. Given that recognition and fame came to the artist faster and easier than to his idols. He took part in the Belgian exhibitions of the Group of Twenty, in the art exhibition Salon of the Hundred in Paris, every year for 8 years sent picturesque paintings to the Salon of Independents, first began to draw such posters that the Parisians at night tore off the walls and collected.


Lautrec could not bear it when the hands of a man were casually written on the portrait. He was sure that his hands would often say more than his face. He looked at pianists and surgeons with delight and awe, and thanks to Lautrec her business card (black1, 2, 3). He knew how to find the right part and create a media image that began to live separately from his real prototype. Red stockings Queen of the Moulin Rouge, the main dancer of the cancan La Gulya! Red scarf and wide-brimmed hat Aristide Bruand, owner of the Mirliton cabaret! Strict dresses and hats the most chaste and educated dancer Jane Avril!

When Henri moved to live in Montmartre, in the heart of the Parisian bohemian life, outraged parents deprived him of his content for several years. But with or without money, Toulouse-Lautrec always found a roof over his head and a reason to drink. He was his man in all the famous places of entertainment - the owners of the cabaret for several months fed and watered him for free for the new picture presented to the institution. And he was absolutely satisfied with such a barter.


Friends who have known and loved Henri for a long time have ceased to notice his external peculiarity. It was strange and annoying when some bully dandy laughed or stared at the artist. Yes, he himself could slap a slap in the face or swear in a curse at a person in whose eyes he saw a mockery.

In fact, it was worth getting closer with Lautrec - and all sorts of boundaries and the need for pity disappeared. His eyes were arranged by his body. He painted the most witty caricatures of himself and started a dog, a plump, crooked-legged bulldog, in which even the most caring friends showed similarities with the owner. When in no other civilized society they took seriously equality and did not think about the rights of the fallen, about the possibilities of people with disabilities, Lautrec already saw them as equal to themselves: prostitutes, lesbians, drunks, madmen and poor artists.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova
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