Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born in 1864 in Albi, France, the son of a count and countess. His parents separated and Henri lived with his mother in Paris. She quickly realized he had artistic talent. Henri suffered from several genetic problems. His legs stopped growing when he was about 12, so he had an adult upper body, but the legs of a child.
Physically unable to participate in most of the activities of his peers, he turned intensely to his art. In Paris, he was drawn to the area of Montmartre, which was a famous haunt of artists and writers who lived a bohemian lifestyle. He would spend the rest of his life there, making friends like Vincent van Gogh. His painting instructor encouraged him to roam about Paris looking for subjects to paint. Lautrecs Portrait of Vincent van Gogh (1887)
When a nearby cabaret opened, Toulouse-Lautrec was hired to create a series of posters advertising it. While making posters gave him a good source of income, other artists frowned on it as commercial. He didnt care.
Toulouse-Lautrec spent a lot of time in and around the Moulin Rouge, his paintings were of the dancers and their patrons. There was always a table for him at the cabaret, and his work was displayed on the walls. Jane Avril Leaving the Moulin Rouge (1892)
Self portrait in the crowd at the Moulin Rouge (he is on the right, seen in profile)
During a career of less than 20 years, Toulouse- Lautrec created 737 paintings, 275 watercolors, 262 prints and posters, over 5000 drawings, and some ceramics and stained glass. He specialized in capturing people in their work environment, often gaudy night life creatures seen in an unglamorous way. He created detailed crowd scenes where every person could be identified as a real individual.
Edgar Degas was born in Paris, France on July 19, 1834. He was the eldest of 5 children in a moderately wealthy family.
In school, he studied literature and his father wanted him to be a lawyer. Degas began to paint, and knew he was an artist. In 1855 (age 21), he entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts and studied drawing. In 1856, he traveled to Italy and drew and painted copies of Renaissance masterpieces. By 1860, he had made morethan 700 copies of classical paintings–it was his way of learning how to be an artist
He returned to Paris in 1859 and moved into a large studio and began painting portraits, paintings based on stories from history, and horses. His work was classical in style, and was accepted by the Salon (the salon was a big annual art exhibition in Paris where works were judged and careers were made and ruined). In 1872, he visited relatives in New Orleans, where he made this painting
The Dance Class (1873-76) He returned to Paris in 1873 after the death of his father. His brother had run up debts, so he began to paint as a way to make money. He was tired of the Salon, and joined a group of young artists who were organizing their own exhibiting society. They were called Impressionists, for their colorful, less classical style.
Place de la Concorde (1875) Degas didnt like the label Impressionist, and although he was a leading member of the group, he was critical of other artists styles and the way they liked to paint en plein air (outside instead of in a studio).
LAbsinthe (1876) Degas was interested in photography, and its influence can be seen in his paintings. His compositions are often framed off-center, as if seen through a camera lens. The subjects often seem like snapshots–as if they were captured in a moment of time, possibly unaware that they were being seen.
Ballet Rehearsal (1873) Degas liked to paint people at work, and painted hat makers, laundresses, & especially ballet dancers. Most often he shows them backstage or in a rehearsal, showing the work part of dancing.
the Song of the Dog (1875-77) He was a master at using physical cues–body language, manner of dress, posture – as well as social status or kind of job they are doing – to help us draw conclusions about them.
Dancers at the Bar (1888)Orchestra Musicians (1870-71)
Degas was difficult and argumentative, driving away friends and artists alike. He believed that an artist needed to be alone, with no social life, and that is how he lived his life. He never married.
The Star (1876-77) Degas frequently left unfinished portions in his paintings. He described himself as having a habit to begin a hundred things and not finish one of them.
Degas also created sculptures, although this is the only one that was ever shown publicly until after his death. Notice his use of real cloth for her skirt and hair ribbon. When this piece was exhibited, critics complained of its appalling ugliness. Little Dancer of Fourteen Years (1881)
Around 1910 his poor eyesight forced him to quit working. Having lived the life of a solitary bachelor, he spent the last years of his life alone, wandering the streets of Paris, until he died in 1917 at the age of 83
Born on June 7, 1848 in Paris, france Mother was peruvian, family lived Peru for 4 years Family returns to France when he is 7 Serves in the Merchant Marine, then the French Navy Returns to Paris and becomes a Stockbroker
Marries a Danish woman and they have 5 children They live in Copenhagen where he is a stockbroker Paints in his free time – buys art in galleries and makes friends with artists
Decides he wants to paint full time – leaves his family in Copenhagen and goes back to Paris His early work is in the impressionist style which is very popular at that time He is not very successful at his art, he is poor Leaves France to find a simpler life on a tropical island Portrait of Madame Gauguin (1880) Aline Gauguin Brothers (1883)
Visits his friend Vincent van Gogh in Arles, France where they both paint They quarrel, with van Gogh famously having his ear cut off. Gauguin leaves France and never sees van Gogh again Night Café at Arles (1888)
The Siesta (1892) Decides he doesnt like impressionism, prefers native art of Africa and Asia because it has more meaning (symbolism) He paints flat areas of color and bold outlines He lives in Tahiti and paints images of Polynesian life
When do you get married? (1892) His art is in the Primitivism style- exaggerated body proportions, animal symbolism, geometric designs and bold contrasting colors Gauguin is the first artist of his time to become successful with this style (so different from the popular impressionism) His work influences other painters, especially Pablo Picasso
Gauguin spent the remainder of his life painting and living in the Marquesas Islands, a very remote, jungle-like place in French Polynesia (close to Tahiti)
Gauguins grave Gauguin lived alone in the jungle, where one day his houseboy arrived to find him dead, with a smile on his face. He was 54 years old (1903). He is buried among the natives on the island.