Toulouse-Lautrec and the Golden Age of Cabaret


Photo Toulouse-Lautrec in 1895

Toulouse-Lautrec’s life is both a triumph against adversity and a sad reflection of late 19th century society in Paris.

I discuss Toulouse-Lautrec’s technique of working in oils on board and especially the process of lithography he used to produce posters for the cabarets in Paris.

Aristide Bruant posters
Lautrec Jane Avril at the Jardin de Paris (poster) 1893

I look at the careers of some of the leading cabaret artists who were the subject of his art including La Goulue, Jane Avril, Yvette Guilbert, May Milton, the clown Cha-U-Kao and Aristide Bruant, as well as at some of the well known venues such as Le Rat Mort, the Moulin Rouge, the Divan Japonais and the Moulin de la Galette. This is a lively view of La Belle Époque seen through the eyes of an artist from an aristocratic family.

I discuss how, following the death of Toulouse-Lautrec, there were few artists who continued recording the great years of the Paris cabarets and how his work is a unique record of these exciting years.