Culvertons Antiques

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A Day at the races: Toulouse-Lautrec lithograph found on the south coast.

30/01/2011 11:12 AM

A break in the harsh weather conditons before christmas allowed one of our valuers to carry out a probate valuation on the south coast, during which he discovered a rare monochrome lithograph : Le Jockey - after Tolouse-Lautrec one of a hundred printed in 1899 by H.Stern and published by Pierrefort.

In 1864 Henri-Marie-Raymond de Tolouse-Lautrec Monfa son of Count Alphonse de Tolouse and the Viscountess Adele was born.Tolouse-Lautrec even as a child growing up in a chateau in Albi showed great promise as an artist, spending much of his time sketching the animals that lived in the surrounding farmsteads and countryside which he portrayed with such knowledge and accuracy in later life.

It was in his 14th and 15th year that two untimely accidents left Lautrec facing a life affected by Achondroplasia (stunted growth), on the positive side he possessed an inexhaustable energy to work and create many paintings drawings and lithographs that are as fresh, vibrant and desirable today as they were within his life time.In 1881 after receiving his degree he went to Paris and studied for a further four years during which time he encountered, collaborated with and depicted some of his contemporaries such as Van Gogh.

With his formal tutoring finished, much of his time over the next thirteen years was spent using what ever medium was to hand depicting with honesty and sensitivity the colourful life of the pleasure district of Monmarte. In 1899 with his health failing Lautrec rekindled his childhood passion and put his experience of sketching animals to good use and produced this iconic image of a race horse in full stride with a rider no bigger than Lautrec himself. 

It was just two years later on September 9th 1901 that Toulouse-Lautrec died of alcoholism aged just 37, this wonderful artist left behind a rich legacy of vivid, memorable and intimate images of life in the late 19th century.