Module 5 Reading: Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

Oct 30

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is a well-known painter from France. I was surprised to see his name in Meggs’ History of Graphic Design as a printer; however, though I never connected him to print work, his Moulin Rouge poster seemed very familiar to me. I looked him up online, and sure enough he did have quite a few posters under his belt. From what it says on┬átoulouse-lautrec-foundation.org, most of his posters were commissioned and appeared to be due his constant presence in bordellos and brothels.

Source: toulouse-lautrec-foundation.org

Source: toulouse-lautrec-foundation.org

The difference between his painting and his print work is noticeable. While his posters certainly reflected the technology and trends of the time, the lack of detail and the use of large blocks of color are in stark contrast from his delicate, careful paintings. I think that when taking both into consideration, it’s easier to see why he played such a large role in the artistic progress of the Art Nouveau era. He was able to create unique viewing experiences no matter the method of creation.

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