Thursday, January 22, 2009

Toulouse Lautrec-One of the Greatest Post Impressionist Painters

In Bed 1893
Toulouse Lautrec-Public Domain

Another in my series of My Favorite Artists, Toulouse Lautrec (1864-1901) over his short 20 year career, was a prolific painter, creating many canvasses, posters, drawings, watercolors, and works in ceramics and stained glass.

I first became aware of him in High school, taking my first art course, and immediately fell in love with his style, his amazing use of color, and his ability to depict a bohemian lifestyle rarely shown within the artistic community that he was a part of. At only 4 ft. 6 in. tall Lautrec suffered from a number of congenital diseases which did not allow him to participate in normal activities that the average Parisian enjoyed at that period in time.

When I was in art school, my work was often criticized as being "too tight" and my instructors often recommend that I study the work of Lautrec in order to "loosen up". Although this was good advice, I must admit I did not succeed in satisfying them, however any artist willing to take the time to study his works in detail will surely benefit from it.

I find his work to be very expressive, as it captures the very moment of what his impressions are, with such vibrant vivid color, and the ability to express these moments often with a minimal amount of information, leaving the viewer the opportunity of filling in the blanks.

Lautrec with great skill was able to depict average people engaged in their daily lives which brought a great deal of insight for the viewer of how life was being lived during this period. As historical reference, this type of imagery for me provides so much more than static, staged photographs that don't really provide the viewer with any internal feeling of the moment.

Additional Links
Gallery of Art-Henri De Toulouse Lautrec
Toulouse Lautrec The Complete Works
Website Devoted To Toulouse Lautrec
Virtual Tour of Lautrec Works

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