June 20, 2011

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born in a castle in Albi. He was a delicate child, but led a normal life until he reached the age of fourteen. Then, in a series of accidents, he broke first one thigh bone and then the other. The bones did not heal correctly and when he could finally walk again, he had a normal torso with abnormally stunted legs. Since he had shown talent in drawing as a very young child, his parents encouraged him to take lessons with various teachers in Paris. Between 1887 and 1897 Lautrec produced the best and greatest part of his work. He painted, sketched, made lithographs and posters, and illustrated books. His production was enormous, for he worked very hard as if he knew that his days were numbered. His illness began to affect his brain in 1898 and his family sent him to a private asylum for treatment. While there, he worked on a series of circus drawings, which later gained him great fame. For a short while his health improved by care and rest, enough for him to return to work in his studio. In the spring of 1901, however, he became partially paralyzed and was taken to the family's estate where he died a few months later. Lautrec most often chose to depict the life found in cabarets, music halls, theaters, and circuses.

Lautrec often was not a very happy man. He was despondent over being different from others and not being accepted by many. Yet, is it not more important to care what we think of ourselves, rather than what others think of us? If we are happy and content inside, we carry a sense of peace with who we are, then what the outside world thinks is not that important.

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