Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre

Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre


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Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre by Richard Thomson, Mary Weaver Chapin, Phillip Dennis Cate

Childhood illness and injuries steered Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) away from customary rural aristocratic avocations and toward a profession as an artist. He became a painter, draftsman, and lithographer whose work was immersed in famously hedonistic, fin-de-siècle Paris. In his hands, advertising posters were raised to a high art; he portrayed the nightlife of Montmartre-circuses, cafés, dance halls, and brothels-with clear, bold color and a certain seamy panache that is instantly recognizable as his. His much mythologized life has found its way into many biographies and into two feature-length movies called Moulin Rouge.

Lavishly illustrated with 370 color plates, Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre is the first major work to present the artist's oeuvre in the context of Montmartre's lively art scene from roughly 1885 to 1901. Accompanying an exhibition of the same name at the National Gallery of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago, the book features the important paintings, drawings, prints, and posters Toulouse-Lautrec made on Montmartre subjects. It also includes masterpieces by contemporaries he inspired or who inspired him-Degas, Van Gogh, Picasso, and others-as well as rarely seen illustrations, lithographs, photographs, and ephemera of the era. And it discusses the artists, writers, actors, singers, and dancers who formed Toulouse-Lautrec's circle.

The book's gracefully written essays by Richard Thomson, Phillip Dennis Cate, and Mary Weaver Chapin, with Florence E. Coman, address these themes in light of the rise of the color poster, the proliferation of new forms of entertainment, and the emergence of a celebrity-oriented popular culture. Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre evokes a colorful, chaotic era, and adds a new dimension to our understanding of the art of Toulouse-Lautrec.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691123370
Publisher: National Gallery of Art
Publication date: 02/22/2005
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 9.78(w) x 11.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Richard Thomson is Watson Gordon Professor of Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh. Phillip Dennis Cate is Director Emeritus and Supervisor of Curatorial and Academic Activities at The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Mary Weaver Chapin is Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at The Art Institute of Chicago. Florence E. Coman is Assistant Curator of French painting at the National Gallery of Art.

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