The Toulouse-Lautrec collection
Thanks to the bequest made by the parents of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the museum possesses the largest collection of the artist in the world. Over 1000 works, pictures, lithographs, drawings, preparatory studies including all 31 posters afford a complete documented approach of the artist and illustrate each facet of his multifarious and innovative talent.
The artist’s youth
A favourite theme was the horse, which appeared in equestrian scenes, military manoeuvres and horse-drawn carriages. Naturalist subjects include his portraits of farm labourers and paintings showing horses in the stable and draught horses.
Fin de siècle Montmartre
Stars such as Bruant, Yvette Guilbert, La Goulue and Jane Avril who animated the nightlife of Montmartre and Paris, immortalised by Lautrec.
The omnipresence of the human subject in his work
Among the artist’s most famous portraits are those of his mother, but also those of his family, of actors or actresses: the sad features of the countess, the radiant beauty of the “Englishwoman of the Star”, the charm of the “Dressmaker” and Dihau’s silhouette are rendered with a simple human truthfulness
His fascination for the eternal womanhood
Pushed to extremes, as far as the world of the brothel, which he observed with curiosity and rendered with modesty in his etchings, such as “Salon in the Rue des Moulins”, “The two friends”, “In bed”, or “Woman removing her stocking”.
The nervous and elegant arabesque of his line
never more apparent than in his works with a deft brush on cardboard, “Woman from behind”, “Red-haired nude head”
His qualities as a colourist
illustrated by the sumptuous vibrant colours of “Englishwoman of the Star”, the chiaroscuro of “The dressmaker”, or the intensity of the reds and greens in the portrait of “Gabriel Tapie de Celeyran”.
The innovation of the poster artist
The 31 posters produced by Lautrec on display at Albi are known worldwide and place him among the undisputed masters of the artistic publicity poster.