Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris

June 6, 2019 // Filed under Blog

On Thursday, June 12 at 7:30 pm, Vivian Gordon, art historian and former lecturer in the Education Department at The Metropolitan Museum, will present an illustrated talk on “Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris,” an exhibition now on view at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is popular for his bold paintings and prints that perfectly capture the racy spirit and seedy side of late 19th-century Paris.  This talk will focus on some of the entertainers and habitués of bohemian Montmartre befriended by Lautrec and immortalized through his art.  Lautrec’s “stars of Paris” – precursors of those made famous in today’s celebrity culture – are featured in this show.

The exhibition explores Lautrec’s fascination with the personal lives of “les stars” as well as the roles that they played.  With expressive lines and brazen colors, he depicted the defining gestures, costumes, and expressions of spectacular performers, many of whom were his personal friends and habitués of Montmartre, the focus of Parisian nightlife and a haven for acrobatic dancers and destitute students, reprobate aristocrats and middle-class pleasure-seekers.

The exhibition includes approximately 200 works and also incorporates works by Lautrec’s contemporaries Pierre Bonnard, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, John Singer Sargent, James Jacques Joseph Tissot, and others—presenting him in the context of his heroes, peers, and followers. Organized by the MFA in partnership with the Boston Public Library, the exhibition draws on both institutions’ rich holdings, and includes key loans of paintings and graphic arts from public and private collections.

There is no charge to attend the Library program, but advance sign-up is requested.  Click here to register, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

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