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Our selection of works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)

Works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, (1864-1901) a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator. Toulouse-Lautrec is among the best-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period, a group which includes Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin. He was a member of an aristocratic family. His family quickly realised that Henri's talent lay in drawing and painting. Toulouse-Lautrec's parents were first cousins and he suffered from congenital health conditions (possibly pycnodysostosis) sometimes attributed to a family history of inbreeding. Physically unable to participate in many activities typically enjoyed by men of his age, Toulouse-Lautrec immersed himself in art. He became an important Post-Impressionist painter, art nouveau illustrator, and lithographer, and recorded in his works many details of the late-19th-century bohemian lifestyle in Paris. Toulouse-Lautrec was drawn to Montmartre, the area of Paris famous for its bohemian lifestyle and the haunt of artists, writers, and philosophers. From 1889 until 1894, Toulouse-Lautrec took part in the "Independent Artists' Salon" on a regular basis. When the Moulin Rouge cabaret opened, Toulouse-Lautrec was commissioned to produce a series of posters. Toulouse-Lautrec slowly drawn his sorrows in alcohol. In addition to his growing alcoholism, Toulouse-Lautrec also had a fondness for frequenting prostitutes. By 1899, his physical and mental health began to decline rapidly due to alcoholism and syphilis which he reportedly contracted from Rosa La Rouge, a prostitute who was the subject of several of his paintings. On 9 September 1901, he died at Château Malromé, in Saint-André-du-Bois at the age of 36. Throughout his career, which spanned less than 20 years, Toulouse-Lautrec created 737 canvases, 275 watercolours, 363 prints and posters, 5,084 drawings, some ceramic and stained glass work, and an unknown number of lost works. His debt to the Impressionists, in particular the more figurative painters Manet and Degas, is apparent. His style was influenced by the classical Japanese woodprints which became popular in art circles in Paris. In his works can be seen parallels to Manet's detached barmaid at A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and the behind-the-scenes ballet dancers of Degas.