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Art Diary

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Celebrity Culture of Paris

31 July 2020

While some museums remain shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibitions will include shows at institutions that are now reopening as well as digital projects providing virtual access to art and culture.

Whether through moodily lit paintings or stylised prints, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s work offers a window on to the bohemian world of clubs and cabarets that emerged in the Paris neighbourhood of Montmartre in late 19th century. This exhibition focuses on the role of his posters in promoting many of quarter’s most familiar figures, such as the performers Jane Avril, Mary Milton and Aristide Bruant. Using a medium closely associated with product advertising, he contributed to the creation of a more personal brand: the celebrity. The exhibition remains open until 31 January 2021. Find out more from the Art Institute of Chicago’s website.

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At the Moulin Rouge (1892-95) Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

At the Moulin Rouge (1892–95), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Photo: courtesy Art Institute of Chicago

Jane Avril (1899), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Jane Avril (1899), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Photo: courtesy Art Institute of Chicago

Equestrienne (At the Cirque Fernando) (1887-8), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Equestrienne (At the Cirque Fernando) (1887–88), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Photo: courtesy Art Institute of Chicago

Divan Japonais (1893), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Divan Japonais (1893), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Photo: courtesy Art Institute of Chicago