“When my pencil moves, it is necessary to let it go. Nothing more!”

Toulouse-Lautrec is recognized around the world as an important Post-Impressionist painter, illustrator and lithographer. He is best known for his works depicting scenes from cabarets, theaters, dance halls, and brothels of late 19th century bohemian Paris. These were themes that the artist lived, beginning in 1885 when he moved to Montmartre and immersed himself in its nightlife.

Toulouse-Lautrec wanted to show life as it is, not as it should be, but this objectivity was not without empathy or humor. His interest lay in portraying people, not only those he met during his nights on the town, but also his friends and the working-class citizens of Paris. He was a hard-working artist, producing an enormous body of work in a wide range of media.

Lautrec made 30 advertising posters in his lifetime, but also illustrated theater programs, book covers, menus, invitations, and sheet music. His expressive use of line found the perfect medium in lithography. He never made a distinction between commercial and fine art.

The collection includes some of the best-known images of this great artist as presented in many of his large original posters, some before the advertising letters, prints and drawings (including double-sided drawings), a rare lithographic stone, books with multiple illustrations by Lautrec and two vintage photos of the artist sleeping taken by his friend Alfred Natanson and another intimate series of 4 photographs of the artist by his other friend Maurice Joyant.

In 2018 the collection expanded significantly with the addition of more than 50 objects from the estate of Aristide Bruant.  Among the very interesting items available for display in secure cases are two glass negatives of Bruant in his iconic poses, photographs of Bruant in his estate and with friends, accounting logs listings his revenues and expenses, personal notes referring to posters purchased from Lautrec, as well as invitation cards with reproductions of posters originally designed by the artist.  In addition, copies of his two books illustrated by T. Steilen, as well as 13 drawings of T. Steilen for some of the images found in the book.

Alsο included are 12 framed poignant handwritten letters of Lautrec to his mother and grandmother touching such interesting topics as requesting money to pay for his rent, comments of Degas after visiting his studio, seeking the address of Yvette Guilbert to send her a painting and other interesting insights to his Parisian life.  Other letters are to his printer, suppliers, etc. providing an interesting glimpse at the daily routine of the artist.

Exhibits

About 290 exhibits, including almost 225 original Toulouse-Lautrec works on paper (as published in Wittrock and Dortu) more than 50 objects from the estate of Aristide Bruant and 12 handwritten letters of the artist.

Highlights

Museum quality original affiches, prints, over 50 extremely rare drawings (some double-sided) done by the artist plus a very unique lithographic stone, more than 50 objects (to be displayed in cases) from the estate of Aristide Bruant and 12 poignant handwritten letters of Lautrec to his mother and grandmother. All the works are framed, each with a variety of period designs, as per museum specifications.

Exhibition Materials

High resolution images, captions, wall texts.

Display

Requires about 140 – 160 linear meters (450 – 500 linear feet), depending on installation.

Characteristics of Collection
  • Geographic location of storage: U.S.A. (north-east).
  • All works are shipped framed as per international museum standards.
  • Collection includes the necessary international shipping crates and packing materials ensuring safe ‘nail to nail” transport.
  • Collection is comprehensive, covering a substantial part of the artist’s body of work making it capable of serving as a stand-alone exhibition.
  • Museum curators are provided with extensive information and may curate the exhibition to their specifications.
  • Collection may be expanded or complemented with art from the borrowing museum’s own collections.
  • Collection provides endless opportunities for the development of educational programs, which we can assist with.

Selected Works