Artists

Season 1 Episode 2

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

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Aired Unknown Apr 30, 2009 on A&E
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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
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Toulouse Lautrec - He was born into a noble French family but a series of mishaps and events determined that he was not to follow the conventions of an aristocratic life. Crippled at an early age Lautrec could never live up to the ideals set by his eccentric and athletic father. He stood barely five feet high but he did have one talent that raised him above the expectations of his family. Lautrec could draw and paint but to achieve greatness he had to leave the comforts of the family estate to live amongst the lowest members of Parisian society. In the 1880's Paris was at the centre of a revolution in art, the painters who would become known as the impressionists were painting landscapes and portraits in a style that was revolutionary but Lautrec was drawn to subjects that reflected the darker side of life. People, who like him were society's rejects, the 'Can-Can' dancers of the infamous Moulin Rouge and the "Street Ladies of the Parisian Night." Eventually Lautrec was drawn further into the chaotic world of Paris nightlife and the seedy Montmartre Quarter. He became dependent upon alcohol and drugs to sustain him and the effects and brutal treatment of a sexually transmitted disease rendered him practically insane. For a short period Lautrec became a star in Paris, his posters of the Moulin Rouge became icons of an age and his depiction of life in the Parisian brothels are now considered to be master pieces but the price to pay was a brief and tragic life.moreless
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