Toulouse-Lautrec, Paintings, Drawings, Posters and Lithographs: Exhibition Dates, March 20-May 6, 1956, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Toulouse-Lautrec, Paintings, Drawings, Posters and Lithographs: Exhibition Dates, March 20-May 6, 1956, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Toulouse-Lautrec, Paintings, Drawings, Posters and Lithographs: Exhibition Dates, March 20-May 6, 1956, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Toulouse-Lautrec, Paintings, Drawings, Posters and Lithographs: Exhibition Dates, March 20-May 6, 1956, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Excerpt

Toulouse-Lautrec cast an aristocratic eye upon Paris low life in the '90s. The record of what this eye selected to see will always remain one of the most piquant and arresting in the history of art. A dwarf himself, and latterly an alcoholic, Lautrec looked unsentimentally at the moral and physical deformities of his fellow beings. He accepted with a kind of detached sympathy the sordid life of the prostitute. He enjoyed the garish vulgarity of the music hall and delighted in the dash and humor of the circus.

We may romanticize his personal life and the life he depicted. The point is, he never romanticized himself or the world about him. This is what gives his astonishing hand and eye their power and penetration and gives to his art a significance and a value above and beyond its popular, documentary appeal.

This exhibition has been derived in large part from the one recently organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago. Some paintings and drawings in the latter show were, unfortunately, not available for ours. On the other hand, certain important paintings, drawings, and lithographs in the present exhibition were not shown in Philadelphia or Chicago, and many of these are here reproduced, together with a selection of works previously reproduced in the Philadelphia-Chicago catalog.

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