Books Reviews


By Angela Youngman Sep 17, 2012, 20:56 GMT


"The Belle Époque (Beautiful Era), which dates from the late nineteenth century to the start of World War I, was an incredible period of creative and scientific activity. Until his death in 1901 at the age of 36, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was one of its leading names along with poets and writers such as Guy de Maupassant and Emile Zola. He exhibited with Vincent Van Gogh and was a friend ...more

A fascinating look into the world of Toulouse-Lautrec.  An aristocrat who took up art at the end of the nineteenth century, he specialized in drawing and painting the people of the demi-mon deliving around Montmartre in Paris. 

For many years, his parents asked him to use pseudonyms rather than his own name when signing his work.  The playful, often satirical drawings and lithographs vividly captured the era known as the Belle Epoque.  This is a very comprehensive study of his work - along with the many traditional images of singers, dancers and courtesans that one associates with Toulouse-Lautrec, there is the unusual and unexpected. 

Typical of this is the amusing drawing done for La Vache Enragée showing a bespectacled old man, face yellow with fear being chased by a cow along a pavement.  While amusing, it is also satirical representing the academic establishment being chased out of Montmartre. 

Editorial by Maria-Christina Boerner helps put thelife and work of Toulouse-Lautrec into perspective, providing useful background information. 

This is a book to keep, to enjoy and to return to time and time again.  A really interesting book, with lots of information and really good reproductions of Toulouse-Lautrec's work. 

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