Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
The young count Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, who was quite small and suffered from a limp, was not born to a traditional military career. His parents recognised his talent for drawing at an early stage and he was allowed to receive artistic schooling. After a romantic/academic education, Henri soon felt attracted to the city life of Paris with her avant-gardists such as Cézanne and, more especially, Degas. He felt at home in Montmartre, with its humour, irony and its fancy dress parties so typical of the fin de siècle.
He was a regular customer of the cabaret bar "Le Mirliton" and for its owner, the singer Aristide Bruant, he designed wall paintings and magazine covers. It was the poster for 'Le Moulin Rouge', though, which brought him instant fame in 1891. He executed his compositions, with their unusual perspective and radical cut-outs, in contrasting colour schemes and flamboyant style.