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Event Item: 00084
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the Nationalmuseum
Exhibition: 21st Feb 2008 to 24th May 2008
The tragic life of an X-rated artist. Advertising. Liquor. Prostitution. Many of the ingredients in the short life of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec have the power to fascinate and shock. Today, he is almost as famous for his tragic fate as for his art.

More than any other artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec has shaped our image of fin de siècle Paris. From taverns, theatres and dance halls, he portrayed the city's entertainment scene. He is associated in particular with the Moulin Rouge. For some years around 1890, he spent almost every evening there, busily capturing people and events on his sketch pad.

Advertising as art. Art as Advertising. Toulouse-Lautrec is perhaps best known for his posters. Advertising was much in demand by the Paris entertainment industry, and Toulouse-Lautrec knew what it took to get the message across amid the hustle and bustle of the city. Using contemporary painting as his starting point, he devised a form of expression, with simple lines and strong colours, that worked as borh art and advertising.

The prostitutes. Prostitution was widespread in 19th-century Paris. Toulouse-Lautrec lived in close contact with the city's sex workers and he depicted them and their daily lives in large numbers of sketches and paintings. The exhibition examines the role and the social causes of urban prostitution at the end of the 19th century.

A journey from riches to rags. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born into an aristocratic family in the French countryside. His parents were cousins and it has been claimed that his poor health was the result of inbreeding.

Young Henri moved to Paris with his mother to study art. Soon he was drawn to the city's bohemian neighbourhoods of Montmartre. It was in Ithis environment that his creative talent began to flourish. The life of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a brief one. Marked by an excess of alcohol and in poor physical condition, he died in 1901, scarcely 37 years old.

The exhibition features some 200 works: drawings, posters and oil paintings. It is the first comprehensive presentation of Toulouse Lautrec in Sweden for 40 years.

Nationalmuseum, Södra Blasieholmshamnen, Stockholm.
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