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The best of Toulouse Lautrec in Rome, an artist not as frivolous as he seems

2016-04-03

His life was significantly influenced by a rare hereditary bone disease and his short stature of a little over a meter and a half. Perhaps this is why he decided to live a life of frivolity, to escape the pain that caused his poor health.

Toulouse Lautrec not only embodied the airiness of the Parisian Belle Époque; he was a historian of his own time.

ISABELLA COLLUCI
Toulouse Lautrec exhibition head
"Throughout his work , he reflects on moments of real life, that he lived, and, above all, he made everyday people look like stars of their time, and thanks to him, they are recognized by the general public.”

Contemporary celebrities like Jane Avril, the famous female figure in "Divan Japonais,” were featured in many works by Lautrec, as shown in this exhibition. 

Yvette Guilbert also stands out in this poster thanks to her distinctive, long black gloves. Lautrec designed these dainty librettos for the singer and ambassador of French music. 

The Ara Pacis in Rome hosts this impressive exhibition with hundreds of works by the great French artist, including lithographs and posters.

ISABELLA COLLUCI
Toulouse Lautrec exhibition head
"They speak of Paris and the atmosphere of The Belle Époque, although obviously no one knew they were living in the Belle Epoque. It captures very significant moments of Parisian life, particularly those related to the life of Montmartre and the lives of celebrities, actors, artists, and local Parisians.”

Much of these painting come from the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, one of the most important museums in Europe.

In an exhibition like this, they couldn't miss other names Lautrec popularized thanks to his designs, such as Aristide Bruant, the actor and singer with the red scarf.

The poster designer and painter died young at the age of 36. Despite his life of rejection and suffering, he never stopped trying to fill it with extravagance, bohemian flare and color. 


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