On the way from Sarlat to Cuxac Cabardes we stopped in Albi to visit the Musee Toulouse-Lautrec. This museum houses around 1000 works by the artist.
At the time of our visit there was a special exhibit of his poster prints done to advertise music and arts exhibits around Paris at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Many of these are very well known images.
The permanent collection caught my interest. The first room had portraits of Lautrec done by his contemporaries. They show a short man whose visage changed dramatically with the years. He only lived to 38-39, and his genetic abnormalities and broken legs that stunted further growth wrecked havoc on him.
I had never seen a large number of Lautrec’s works. Many museums we have visited had a few of his paintings. I had no idea that he had a particular fascination for and painted many horses. Horse in a field, army horses, race horses, horses of royalty, he painted them all. Another interesting find was his outstanding portrait work. I had ben familiar with his portraits that border on charicature, but he also did fine portraits. His mother was one of his favorite models. Please click on the museum link above to see examples from the collection. I am more impressed by Lautrec’s talent than I ever have been by viewing the samples at other museums.
Finally, a brief note about the building itself. The museum is house in the Palais du Barbie, the bygone palace of the Catholic Bishops of Albi. It is currently undergoing restoration inside, but the building outside is magnificent. Built between the 13th and 18th centuries, it is an imposing structure with beautiful stonework, tall towers, and many nooks and crannies.
- Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril at the Courtauld Institute (wired.com)
- Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – Painter – Printmaker – Draftsman- Illustrator – Currently On Exhibition (foxwellgallery.wordpress.com)