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Toulouse-Lautrec exibithion in the Museum of Fine Arts

Updated: 2014-06-16 / (wtcf.travel)

Program Location: 1146, Budapest Dózsa György út 41.

Program Dates: April 24, 2014 - August 24, 2014

The chief purpose of the exhibition conceived for the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth is to give a comprehensive presentation of the museum’s own material of prints and drawings.

As the earliest sheets in the Budapest collection are from 1892 the exhibition wishes to shed light upon the last decade of his oeuvre (1891–1901), characterised by lively lithographic activity.

Besides the two drawings from the Majovszky Collection (Ballroom at the Moulin Rouge, Portrait of Singer Mlle Cocyte), the museum preserves 200 lithographs from Toulouse-Lautrec’s reproduced graphic works, 368 sheets in all, including ten large posters, his cold needle series consisting of eight pieces and several illustrated books and albums (Yvette Guilbert). This representative ensemble of prints is the result of deliberate acquisition prior to the First World War.

The first sheets were bought in the year of the artist’s death, in 1901. Being in contact with the most eminent French and German art dealers, the museum was able to attain many works printed in limited edition (12-25), equipped with numbers, signatures and at times inscriptions.

There are several impressions of which only four or five copies are known to exist at present. The museum’s collection therefore enables an extensive study into the graphic work of Toulouse-Lautrec, both regarding the diverse functions (posters, book illustrations and periodicals, cover designs, theatre programmes, cast lists and covers of music) and his themes (the world of Parisian theatres, cabarets, brothels, prominent performers of night life and horse racing).

It is also interesting that certain compositions can be found in different print phases or colour variants, thus offering insight into the process of artistic creation.

The exhibition plans to present the Parisian settings and people connected to Toulouse-Lautrec in thematic groups, allowing for the portrayal of the scenes of public and private life, individuals vs. types and the examination of the boundaries between popular and elitist art. The most wide-ranging unit takes stock of the key locations of the end of the 19th century entertainment industry, the café chantants, dancing clubs and cabarets (Moulin Rouge, Mirliton).

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