Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is known along with Van Gogh, Cezanne and others as one of the great painters of the Post Impressionist period.
His art of people in their working environment, crowd scenes, Parisian night-life, or intimate studies have been described as both sympathetic and dispassionate. Toulouse-Lautrec proved himself a true genius of the poster, setting a design style that has remained current since his works of the late 1800’s when Paris was celebrated as a city of posters, and an open air museum offering color to daily life.
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The posters of the 1890’s were the early public advertisements that influenced the development of typography. The these posters were meant to be read from a distance and required a larger type style that has continually influenced many areas of art and graphics.
His first poster for the Moulin Rouge dance hall in 1891 was an immediate sensation and made quickly Lautrec’s name. He completed thirty posters before his death at the age of thirty-six in 1901.
In 1989, Toulouse-Lautrec’s 3-sheet Moulin Rouge sold for $220,000, at the time, the highest price ever paid for a fine art poster at auction.