It was a sign of the times, which Henri Toulouse de Lautrec lived in. Artists like Renoir and Monet had laid a platform for a new wave of artists, to develop their own style which became Art Nouveau. Also, the industrial revolution now over 100 years old was producing a new class of entrepreneurs, those who needed to advertise their products. During this time cameras were still a primitive instrument, still not able to capture a picture, worthy of using in advertising. The businesses of the time had turned to artists, to deliver a stylised portrait of their product, and depict the people who it would appeal to. Give them a theme to paint, and then add calligraphy writing to the pictures to tell them what was the product they were selling.
Henri had grown up with a natural flair for art and painting. He was born into a rich family, his father the Count (Comte) Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa came from southern France near the town of Albi close to the Spanish border. When he was old enough to leave the family home Henri’s family used their connections to allow Henri to study in renowned studios in Paris to further develop his talents.
Henri like the other artists who were famous at the time like Cezanne, Van Gogh and Gaugin were first and foremost painters. However, many artists like Lautrec were able to earn a constant income from this new form of art nouveau, instead of waiting to become popular and/or waiting for their paintings to sell, while they starved. But unlike other artists, Henri was on an income from his rich family and his art nouveau posters, helped to provide him with an independent income
While admittedly not being a big fan of art, as with the vast majority of people there is some form of art that does appeal to me. That’s what brings me to this great French artist Henri Toulouse de Lautrec. Without the writing I could glance over one of his paintings thinking that’s nice, but it’s another painting on the wall. However, what draws my attention to his art was the posters he created throughout his life which are these days, expensive art pieces in their own right. Exactly the same as those who followed, like Andy Warhol who’s advertising paintings are worth a mint.
One of his most famous posters are the ones he was commissioned to paint to promote the newly opening Moulin Rouge. Much of this poster style is credited to a Czech painter Alphonse Mucha.
Henri did not live a long life but he is credited with being one of the best artists from the post-impressionists, and one of the best known of art nouveau.
While stating that not being a fan of art, these days advertising relies on art, who can’t help but want a great poster in their own house. A lot of art from advertising has become so popular that we adorn our houses with it.
Many of Henri Toulouse de Lautrec’s paintings and art can be seen in the Metropilitan Museum of Art in New York, the National gallery of Art in Canberra, Australia, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the San Diego Museum of art amongs others.
Also you can check out the website of over 600 over his paintings the Henri-Toulouse-Lautrec Foundation
Finally, for anyone who would like to comment, at not describing precisely enough Henri’s style Art Nouveau’s painting, I am not an art critic,therefore I do not have the words to do his art justice, I’m just an admirer of something that Henri Toulouse de Lautrec popularised. Something that we all like to pin-up on our walls as teenagers and thereafter.
So let the paintings do the work they are supposed, look, comment, think for yourself! And if you like it maybe do some investigation yourself on this artist