Friday, April 13, 2007


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) painted this picture "La Grande Loge". Born in an aristocratic family of considerabel wealth and ancestry, Toulouse-Lautrec was pursued by bad fate : he broke his left leg at 12 and his right leg at 14. The bones failed to heal properly, and his legs stopped growing. He reached young adulthood with a body trunk of normal size but with abnormally short legs. He was only 1.5 meters tall.

Deprived of the kind of life that a normal body would have permitted, Toulouse-Lautrec lived wholly for his art. He stayed in the Montmartre section of Paris, the center of the cabaret entertainment and bohemian life that he loved to paint.

He was a great admirer of Degas. He viewed his subjects with a pitiless sharp eye for their character including himself. He hit at the Moulin Rouge and is really without a precedent as a graphic artist. Unfortunately he drank heavily and ruined his health. He died on Sept. 9, 1901, at the family chateau of Malromé, Gironde, France, (picture above) at the age of 36.

In 1979, La Grande Loge was sold for £ 370,000 ($810,000).

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