Lust For Life

From the #HistoryOfUs series: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901)

La clownesse assise Mademoiselle Cha-U-Kao from the series "Elles" (1896) by Henri de Toulouse-LautrecKupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

He was the living epitome of carpe diem: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Aged 16, he moved to Paris’s red light district to study art and live. He spent years in Absinthe bars, cabarets and brothels around the Moulin Rouge ...

Clown (um 1886/1887) by Henri de Toulouse-LautrecAlte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

... immortalising many of their inhabitants in his raw, honest paintings and sketches, like the clown pictured here. This sketch is probably a study for a painting of Boum-Boum – the famous clown from Cirque Fernando. Henri sometimes dressed in clown costume and mixed anonymously with the crowds himself.

A dwarf in a costume: Henri was only 152 cm tall. He had a genetic bone defect that is noticeable by dwarfism and would later be named after him.

La Dance au Moulin Rouge (1897) by Henri de Toulouse-LautrecKupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

At the age of 36 he died from a mixture of alcoholism and syphilis. He left behind at least 737 oil paintings, 275 watercolours, 363 prints and posters, and 5,084 drawings, a staggering legacy that helped usher in a new age of art modernity and start a graphic revolution.

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Credits: Story

#HistoryOfUs series

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz

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