Henri Toulouse-Lautrec: paintings by artist

He could have been a brilliant aristocrat, but he was an ugly cripple. He could shine at balls and conquer the hearts of laybys, and became a frequenter"Moulin rouge"and the seducer of his dwellers.

Henri Toulouse de Lautrec, whose paintings impress with their frankness and realism, is the strangest and most unfortunate post-impressionist artist.Henri Toulouse Lautrec Paintings


The future famous artist was born in the late autumn of 1864 in the family estate of Albi, a picturesque town in southern France. The delightful virgin nature from the cradle surrounded the young aristocrat, since the village was located on a hill of the beautiful river Tarn.

Henri's mother, Adele de Celeiran, was meek and at the same time a strong personality, she bravely endured the fate and was a good friend for her only son.

His father, Alphonse de Toulouse, was an eccentric and pretentious person, often moved from place to place, cheated on his wife and loved to amaze secular society with extravagant antics.

The parents of the little heir divorced when he was four years old because of the terrible tragedy that overshadowed the life of the whole family - the death of the younger son.

After the separation of his father and mother, little Henri moved several times from one estate to another, and at the age of six he settled with his mother in Paris.

All this time, the kid received an education worthy of an aristocrat: he studied horse riding, dancing and languages.

Personal tragedy

As a teenager, Toulouse-Lautrec, whose paintings would soon become famous and popular, was little interested in painting. He loved to hunt, dance at balls, fence. However, at the age of thirteen everything broke off.toulouse lautrec painting photo

Rising from the chair, the young Henri unsuccessfully twisted his leg and broke the neck of the thigh on his right leg. After a year, he inadvertently falls into a ditch and gets a fracture of the femoral neck of the left leg. After that, the irreparable happens.

The bones of the heir of a noble family stop growing! Perhaps this was due to the incest so widespread in those years (Henri’s parents were cousins). Or the cause was a long-standing maternal illness, which manifests itself quite rarely (the young man’s maternal aunt was a dwarf). Whatever it was, but the growth of the lower limbs of the young aristocrat stopped.

After a couple of years, handsome and charming Henri turned into a dwarf with short legs and a large body. His figure no longer than one and a half meters was a disproportionate caricature.


Naturally, a young man with such an appearance should have forgotten about shine in secular society and military career, one could not recall balls and masquerades, dancing and hunting. Because of this, the unfortunate patient begins to feel embarrassed among beautiful cheerful peers and feel like an ugly outcast.toulouse lautrec painting

Mother felt sorry for her deprived son and supported him in everything. But the father, seeing as the sole heir does not meet his expectations, behaved sternly and sometimes harshly with his son. Disappointed in his own life and in a hypocritical environment, the unhappy young man discovered the world of art.

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, whose paintings will give him the meaning and happiness of life, becomes an artist.


Initially, the novice painter becomes a student of Prensto, the deaf-and-dumb animal painter. Despite the considerable difference in age, these two people, so cruelly deprived of their fate, found a common language and became friends.

Learning from Prensto was not a gift for young talent. Toulouse-Lautrec, whose paintings were initially performed unprofessionally, amateurishly, mastered the skill of transmitting movement on the canvas.

The next stage of self-education of the beginning artist was a visit to the workshop of Bonn and Cormon - painters of the academic (or classical) direction. They help the young Henri to tame his hand in drawing small parts, correctly combine colors, pay attention to the angle and lighting.

Search yourself

But Lautrec was not a strict follower of the rules. He was inspired by the paintings of the Impressionists. Their bold lines and bright colors admired and touched the sensitive imagination of the young man.

At the same time, the novice artist was proud and ambitious. He wanted to create his own style of painting, so that, looking at his canvases, people would immediately notice: this is the hand of the legendary Lotren!

And Henri achieved it. The paintings of the artist Toulouse-Lautrec become characteristic and specific, they always show the talented extraordinary style of the master.

Poster artist

His development as a professional artist, Henri began by drawing posters and advertising posters.Toulouse-Lautrec, whose paintings have already enjoyed some popularity, was invited as a permanent artistMoulin Rouge(world famous cabaret Montmartre).Toulouse lautrec picture description

There were no strict rules and rigid boundaries. It was necessary to draw in such a way that people wanted to attend the performance, and Henri achieved this goal better than others.

He painted without idealization and striving for perfection. I was pleased to portray flaws and flaws. Such a bright lively realism came to the liking of the voluptuous public.

A poster depicting dancing girls with raised skirts or a diva cabaret against the background of lustful men - everything was done harmoniously, lively and alluring.

"The Moulin Rouge"

In addition to advertising posters, Henri decides to create a series of paintings under the general title:"The Moulin Rouge". He is happy to pose for dancers and prostitutes, cabaret regulars and drunken drunkards.

Painting by Toulouse-Lautrec"The Moulin Rouge"amazes with lively images and dynamic action. She vividly, in fine detail, conveys the characters and preferences of the depicted characters. Here there are the artist himself, and his adored dancer La Gulju, and other frequent regulars of the frivolous Montmartre.toulouse de lorotec paintings

Toulouse-Lautrec, whose paintings were striking in their frankness and attracted the eye with bright individual performances, painted not only for brothels. He collaborated with various magazines, decorated ceramics and stained glass windows, exhibited his works at famous European and American art exhibitions. His canvases sold well and enjoyed worldwide recognition.

Personal life

As a regular customer of brothels, Toulouse-Lautrec mired in alcoholism and immorality. He was constantly surrounded by prostitutes and perverts, with them he forgot about his ugliness and felt like an ordinary person.

At twenty-two, thanks to the help and support of the mother, who saw a wounded child in her son, Henri received his own home and workshop. There he created his masterpieces, there he got drunk and smoked.

Toulouse-Lautrec loved to receive guests. He loved to impress them with his culinary skills, he personally prepared delicious expensive dishes and cocktails invented by him. They say that it was he who first mixed cognac with absinthe, thereby giving the name to the disturbing drink “Earthquake”.

However, such a life could not affect the health of Henri. Abusing alcohol, he was sick several times with delirium tremens and was even treated in an institution for the insane.

The venereal disease that Toulouse-Lautrec picked up in one of the houses of tolerance, undermined his vitality with incredible cruelty.

The gifted artist in the family castle, in the hands of his mother, who loved him dearly, died at the age of thirty-six, leaving behind about a thousand paintings and watercolors, almost four hundred engravings and posters and more than five thousand drawings.

Let us focus on some of his works.

Toulouse-Lautrec, description of the painting "Laundress"

His famous picture"Laundress"Henri wrote at the age of twenty-three, when he was still little acquainted with the life of the bohemian seabed. Although Toulouse-Lautrec pictures (photos of some of them are placed in this article) wrote mainly about the nightlife of Paris, among his works there are many works and sketches on other topics. For example, he liked to portray women for hard physical labor. A striking example is the canvas."Laundress".
Henri Toulouse Lautrec Paintings

It depicts a beautiful, but tired girl. She is red hair and beautifully built, full of strength and health.Next to her there are no items of her labor - wet linen and water tanks. Therefore, all eyes are focused only on her.

The image of a young worker is placed in the center of the canvas, he is illuminated by bright sunlight, a wave of feminine strength and self-confidence, calmness and at the same time a terrible daily exhaustion emanates from him.

The best that Toulouse-Lautrec wrote

Paintings (you already know the names of some of them) gave the artist faith in himself, were his delight.

Talking about other post-impressionist canvases, it is necessary to pay attention to these portraits:

  1. “Portrait of Emil Bernard”. Realistically and truthfully, Henri Lautrec conveys the qualities and character of a young symbolist artist.
  2. “Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh”. The painting, written in the style of Van Gogh (as a tribute to his talent), is a true reflection of the Dutch painter, with his nervousness and excitability.
  3. “Artist's mother, Countess Adele de Toulouse-Lautrec at breakfast.” With incredible tenderness and love, Henri portrays his mother - a woman still beautiful, but exhausted by fate and hardships.Toulouse Lotreka's Picture in Moulin Rouge
  4. “Passenger from the 54th”. Instant portrait-sketch of a casual fellow traveler, who won the heart of a famous artist with her pleasant appearance and serenity of character.

For twenty years of creativity, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec left a huge number of paintings that have enriched the fine arts of the whole world. If he had not died so early, his cultural heritage might have reached an incredible mark.

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