Today is the birthday of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901).
We recently saw MOMA’s exhibition The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters and since it was so close to his birthday I decided to save this little plug for today. As we said in our earlier post, for theatre lovers, especially lovers of the historical popular theatre, there is no visual artist more associated with communicating every aspect of the live event. He not only designed posters, song sheets, and programs, but he sketched from life and used his observations for paintings and illustrations, capturing audience members, backstage preparations, the shows themselves, and life outside the theatres as well. MOMA has broken the comprehensive new show into five useful and illuminating categories: “café-concerts and dance halls” tells us about the storied venues, especially the famous Moulin-Rouge; another section focuses on performers, many of whom we have written about here, such as Yvette Guilbert and Loie Fuller; a section on women (particularly ladies of the evening); a section on Lautrec’s creative circle (including contemporaries, imitators and influences); and lastly a section on a broader picture of Paris itself, with an emphasis on the leisure activities Lautrec was so brilliant and industrious at chronicling.
This (“The Box with the Gilded Mask”) was one of our favorites. Her lips are much redder in the original. That is why you must go see these works in person. I’m probably going to go back, in fact. It’s hanging through March 22, 2015. There’s more information here