"At the Moulin Rouge" by Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892 (Art Institute of Chicago)
The brilliant artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, working in Paris in the late 19th century, vividly portrayed the nightlife of Montmartre, the center of the cabaret entertainment and bohemian life that he loved and that informed his art. Circuses, dance halls and nightclubs—these spectacles were set down on canvas, paper or cardboard by an artist unafraid to experiment with new techniques. He featured the flamboyant performers of the day—Jane Avril, Yvette Guilbert, and Aristide Bruant—but he also portrayed domestic life at the brothel that was his second home with candor and compassion.
Art historian Joseph Cassar illuminates the artist's aristocratic beginnings in Albi, his discovery of Degas and the impressionists in Paris, his contemporaries Van Gogh, Bonnard and Picasso who were also drawn to fin de siècle Montmartre, and the colorful social and cultural milieu of Paris in the Belle Epoque.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.