Introduction to Toulouse-Lautrec

Toulouse-Lautrec is the National Gallery of Australia’s next summer exhibition and will run from 14 December 2012 to 2 April 2013. The Australian public have never before had the opportunity to see a major retrospective exhibition devoted to the art of French 19th century artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in painting, drawing, posters and prints.

Toulouse-Lautrec will examine the artist’s abilities as an acute observer of Parisian life, his skill as a draughtsman, his experimentation in composition and the brilliance of his technical execution in all media. The exhibition will shed new light on Toulouse-Lautrec through an examination of his involvement in Parisian culture—the high life and the low life.

The exhibition will trace Toulouse-Lautrec’s career from his earliest works to his extraordinary depictions of the Paris social scene, the dance halls, the café-concerts, the brothels and theatres. This he did in an insightful way, capturing the essence of his Parisian characters and haunts. Toulouse-Lautrec’s subject matter was to become thoroughly modern and he became an influential figure in the evolution of the art of the twentieth century.


Image detail: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec La Goulue entering the Moulin Rouge [La Goulue entrant au Moulin Rouge] 1892
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Gift of Mrs David M. Levy