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Toulouse-Lautrec : Painting the Fusion of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

It was the time of late nineteenth century; it was the time when Manet and Degas were ruling over the art world of Paris; it was the time when Japanese prints were attracting the artists very much; it was the time when Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 –1901) started his short lived life and a career in art that put an unforgettable impression in the hearts and minds of the art lovers. His oil and watercolours are some of the wonderful canvases of the treasure of art in general and in France particular.

La Blanchisseuse [The Washerwoman]

The dominant style of painting in those days was ‘impressionism’. Post era of impressionist style was emerging, too. Lautrec had worked in both of the eras. His paintings have glimpses of both the styles, post impressionist and modern style.

Toulouse-Lautrec ‘s Subjects of Painting

He mainly chose the decaying city life of Paris as his subject. His unmatched craftsmanship had resulted in one of the best visual experiences painted by the French artists. His one of the paintings, La blanchisseuse, was sold in US$ 22.4 Million in 2005 in an auction done by Christie’s.

The clownesse cha-u-kao at the Moulin Rouge

Lautrec walked on the streets of Montmartre, the streets well-walked by many artists, play writers and philosophers. He lived there for almost two decades. What he saw there became the subjects he wanted to recreate on canvases.

His painting had one peculiarity: even if the people were in crowd, many of them could be identified; and were actually identified, too. He painted the figures with the individualized touch. He was master in painting the figures having lighter background, giving an identifiable shape to the person painted.

His dexterous lining and precisely drawn counters made his figurative painting so enjoyable.

La Clownesse Cha-U-Ka-O im Moulin Rouge

Lautrec was in Paris in the time when the Moulin Rougue opened. he painted many landscapes and figurative paintings, keeping the model Carmen Gaudin who had modeled for La Blanchisseuse, 'The Washerwoman'. [Image Courtesy: The Washerwoman, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons , The clownesse By Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de (Unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons , La Clownesse Cha-U-Ka-O im Moulin Rouge, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons ]

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