Many appreciate French art and the style of Toulouse-Lautrec is truly French in itself and equally memorable. Toulouse-Lautrec's series of paintings based on the Moulin Rouge has become his best known contribution, but many other coloured sketches and illustrative posters are also in the mainstream today. This page features further information on the artist as well as a collection of some of his best paintings, which are available to buy from a number of retailers via the accompanying links alongside each print photo. Framed and unframed art prints, posters, giclees and stretched canvas reproductions of Toulouse-Lautrec originals are all available from the gallery.
Lithographs by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
The artist would create thirty poster designs in total. They were never intended to do anything other than attract customers to each entity being advertised. In fact, many still exist today and are considered amongst his most important contributions. All of the posters were lithographs. Somewhat excitingly, his reputation started to grow so much that members of the public would seek out his posters around Paris and take them for themselves. It was Modernism starting to appear, and the public adored it. Toulouse-Lautrec was therefore starting to become something of a cult figure, which was strange for someone who came from an aristocratic background. His physical and mental issues did bring him sympathy from others and one might argue that these were in fact caused by his family roots. His concentration of the night life of Montmartre was seen as a celebration of Paris, and French culture more generally and so these lithograph posters left a much bigger impact than initially intended.
You will see from the lithographic prints below of the type of companies and individuals that commissioned Toulouse-Lautrec to work for them. Most of his designs would be accepted, often without any amendments at all, but not always. He took in cycle manufacturers, theatrical events, new novels, hat shops and other local businesses. Not everyone understood or appreciated his style and sometimes humour, but most who commissioned his work would already have been sold on the enigma of Toulouse-Lautrec. He released prints in series of around 100 at a time, sometimes altering the state from one set to the next, normally be tweaking the colour balance to create a different impact. Inrcedibly, Picasso would even get his hands on one and actually featured it in the background of one of his own paintings - a significant gesture. In recent years Toulouse's Lautrec's use of Modernism and illustration has also been studied by those looking to understand the origins of modern graphic design.
Moulin Rouge is one of a series of prints that Toulouse-Lautrec is best known for thanks to the success of this brand right across the world and the qualities in the paintings that the artist produced to advertise them. The posters feature great illustration, bold colours and interesting typography in the French words to title the poster. Interestingly, French-born Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa was a painter, printmaker, draftsman and illustrator who suffered illness all his life which one would never guess from the inspired, colourful and truly uplifting style of his paintings and illustrations. It is a tragedy that the artist only lasted 36 years because of his genetic problems as he had already achieved so much, and who knows what could've occurred since 1901 if he had enjoyed better health.
Woman Pulling up Her Stocking
Toulouse-Lautrec painted a colourful depiction of life for the rich and socially privileged during the late 19th century which have attracted huge numbers of fans, due to the uniqueness of his innovative style, techniques and subjects. As well as colourful posters and illustrations, there are also plenty of interesting simpler sketches and pencil drawings, like Woman Pulling up Her Stocking above by Toulouse-Lautrec. There are many sketches available from the Toulouse-Lautrec prints gallery but this homepage concentrates mainly on the best full colour works which are shown and described here. As well as achieving great numbers of followers from current and previous generations Toulouse-Lautrec also has become a major interest at international art auctions with several works going for $10m+ in recent years whilst most are stored away and unlikely to be offered for sale.
Dance at the Moulin Rouge
Above is a futher print from the Moulin Rouge series, depicting a dance offering further movement and interest to the artist's typically colourful and charming illustrations. Dance at the Moulin Rouge features greatily contrasting colours to give the key focus of the painting the highest possible attention by the viewer and ensure the purpose of the painting is served. Toulouse-Lautrec has a very personal style that helped him stand out from others artists from the late 19th century but his career is generally classified as somwhere in the realms of Post-Impressionism and Art Nouveau. Others from these genres include Alphonse Mucha and Vincent Van Gogh, but Toulouse-Lautrec is somewhat different to them with only a few similarities on first look.