Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Toulouse-Lautrec exhibtion

I visited the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at the National Gallery while we were in Canberra.    I admit that that I didn't know very much about Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec before I started planning to visit this exhibition, even though I'm now aware that he is one of the best known post-Impressionist painters.  Certainly, his paintings, drawings and posters and other lithographs are often vivid and dramatic.

Being a bit of a fan of the Heidelberg school of painters, it was food for thought for me to read that Toulouse-Lautrec was disdainful of the plein air school, and apparently many of his paintings (and, I think, all those in this exhibition) are portraits or of groups. Of course, generally these are of people from what may be regarded as the "under-belly" of Paris.    I particularly liked At the Bastille.

Interestingly, the Gallery has assembled this exhibition from numerous sources.  Many of the posters are in its own collection.   However, only three paintings have been contributed by the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum at Albi.    I leave it to the experts to say whether this means the paintings in this exhibition are less than fully representative of his work, although as a lay observer, it did seem that there was an adequate number. 

On a minor logistical note, I was able to buy a ticket for immediate admission shortly after the Gallery opened on the Saturday morning of a long week-end.   Of course, I realise that I was taking a  chance by not pre-purchasing, but at least on this occasion, things worked out satisfactorily.

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