Toulouse-Lautrec: Scenes of the Night

Toulouse-Lautrec: Scenes of the Night by Claire Freches-throy and Jose Freches                        Harry N. Abrams (1994) Paperback

Flipping through this book, I enjoy it with only the brief historical background I know of Lautrec, which is, that he was a dwarf, an outcast who painted primarily other outcasts, those employees of Moulin Rouge. In Scenes of the Night these paintings/depictions are in full gloss color. I love the expression Lautrec paints in the ladies, and the movement and liveliness of the the dance halls in general. This book contrasts his paintings with historical photographs as well, which is fun. I appreciate the paintings more though, because I like to imagine Lautrec sketching in the club. I can feel the music and dancing though the paintings, while the photos in contrast may be more technically accurate but remain dully still.

His lithographs are also shown in full color, which only makes me admire Lautrec’s skill as an artist/designer more. The posters are incredibly original, the text flowing with the images.

I consider pieces by Lautrec true art because he lived art, devoted his life to it, and the thought and effort he put into all his prints and paintings is expressed through his pieces, brilliantly reflecting that historical period. What a lovely book!

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