Known for his posters for cabarets and performances, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864- 1901) was the painter of Parisian nightlife par excellence. Completely immerged in the bohemian milieu of the period, he produced numerous paintings and lithographs representing the lower levels of society. More than any other painter of his time, Lautrec stands out as the embodiment of Paris.
At night, the city of hidden and frenzied pleasures, as well as of outdoor games during the day; the city on whose perpetual stage-boards the passing show ceaselessly changes into history has never been better understood or more strikingly expressed on canvas. Oscillating between Postimpressionism and Expressionism, he loved to paint dancers and singers at work in the cabarets of the capital. His touch is vigorous, his colors pure. Despite his personal handicap, his numerous works and posters are full of turbulent, incessant movement and figures such as the famous Goulue or Valentin le Désossé. Without doubt too entangled in this Parisian bohemia, he died of syphilis and chronic alcoholism at the age of only thirty-seven, leaving behind a substantial body of work.