The Art Institute Chicago

ART INSTITUTE | 111 South Michigan Avenue
Illinois-60603 Chicago

plan route show map

artist / participant

press release

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901), one of the most popular and important painters of late 19th-century Paris, has not been the subject of a major exhibition since the large retrospective seen in London and Paris in 1991–1992. The National Gallery of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago have collaborated to organize Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre, an exhibition that will place the artist's work at the peak of his career between 1888 and 1896 in conjunction with that of other artists at that period. Toulouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries produced images that evocatively recorded the social geography of Montmartre, center of licit and illicit entertainment. Taking Montmartre as a state of mind as well as an environment, the exhibition will re-evaluate the decadent worldview of fin-de-siècle Paris, so different from that of the preceding Impressionist generation. The focus will be on several Montmartre themes, including the dance halls, the circus, and the maisons closes, integrating major avant-garde paintings, topographical canvases, and posters and caricatures of stars like Aristide Bruant and Loïe Fuller.

The aim of the exhibition is to place Toulouse-Lautrec in the wider context of his time and place and to include for comparison and contrast a selection of works by his contemporaries—painters, printmakers, and poster artists—to evoke the life and art of fin-de-siècle Montmartre. This supporting cast will include such famous names as Degas, Seurat, and Picasso, but also less-well-known figures such as Anquetin, Steinlen, and Casas, who nonetheless captured the spirit of that age. This will add a powerful new dimension to our understanding of Toulouse-Lautrec and his time.


Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Kuratoren: Richard Thomson, Philip Conisbee, Douglas Druick
Organisatoren: Art Institute Chicago, National Gallery, Washington

20.03.05 - 12.06.05 National Gallery, Washington
16.07.05 - 10.10.05 Art Institute Chicago