Masterpieces of Lithography by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901)
Of aristocratic descent, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec immersed himself in the world of Parisian dancehalls, brothels, and cafés and created indelible images of its inhabitants. Deftly working on the multiple stones required to make a lithograph of more than one color, he developed a distinctive graphic style characterized by a bright palette, attenuated forms, and expressive line. His inventive methods of spraying ink onto the printing surface to create mists of color and employing metallic powders result in dazzling atmospheric effects. In these works, he offers an insider’s view of Paris’s underbelly, where different classes intermingle and spectacle has a place both on and off stage. Matching the modernity of his subjects with an unmistakably modern style, he defined the image of fin-de-siècle Paris for all subsequent generations.