Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

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Love is a disease which fills you with a desire to be desired.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (24 November 18649 September 1901) was a French painter, printmaker, draftsman, and illustrator, whose immersion in the decadent and theatrical life of fin de siècle Paris yielded an oeuvre of provocative images of modern life.

Quotes[edit]

quotes, 1879-1884[edit]

T-Lautrec, by Henri Perruchot[edit]

from: T-Lautrec [1], by Henri Perruchot (original publication La Vie de Toulouse-Lautrec', Librairie Hachette, 1958. distribué par Presse-Avenir), transl. Humphrey Hare; The World Publishing Company, Cleveland, Ohio & New York, 1960/61

  • I am quite incapable of doing them [making landscapes], even the shadow. My trees look like spinach and my sea like heaven knows what.. ..[the Mediterranean landscape was] the devil to paint, precisely because it is so beautiful.
    • p. 46 - remark to his friend Etienne Devismes - in Nice, 1879
    • young Lautrec comments his own paintings of the landscape, when he was c. 15 years old.
  • I'm very much alone all day, I read a litle but, in the long run, it gives me a headache. I draw and paint as much as I can, indeed till my hand grows tired, and when night begins to fall I hope Jeanne d'Armagnac [his cousin] will come to my bedside. She does sometimes, and cheers me up and plays with me, and I listen to her talk, without daring to look at her. She is so tall and so beautiful! And I am neither tall nor beautiful.
    • p. 53 - written note in Nice, Winter of 1880
    • The previous Summer, at Barèges, while he lay with his leg in plaster, Lautrec had often been visited in the evening by his cousin, Jeanne d'Armagnac
  • I have tried to draw realistically and not ideally.. .It may be a defect, for I have no mercy on warts, and I like adorning them with wanton hairs, rounding them off and giving them a bright surface.. . - A painter in embryo.. ..- Write me a line soon. I am feverish with anxiety.
    • p. 60 - in a letter to his friend Etienne Devismes, Summer of 1881
    • his friend Etienne Devismes had just finished a novel 'Cocotte', and asked Lautrec to illustrate it. Lautrec made twenty-three pen and ink drawings and sent them to Devismes with a letter
  • I could never have believed that such kindness existed: to receive my wretched drawings and then thank me into the bargain. And you need not be so scrupulous about my drawings. Just use those you like.. ..But, I am madly, crazily happy at the thought that your prose [Devismes novel 'Cocotte'], like so many fireworks, will frame my daubs, that you should have offered me a helping hand on the arduous road towards getting known...
    • p. 61 - in a letter to his friend Etienne Devismes, Summer of 1881
    • from Lautrec's letter, after he received Devismes' letter full of praise for the 23 illustrations he had sent
  • When my pencil starts moving, it must be allowed its head or - bang! - nothing more happens.
    • p. 61/62 - in a letter to his friend Etienne Devismes, Late Summer of 1881
  • There are two young Englishmen in the next rooms to ours who are superb; their two sisters, looking like umbrellas, are here too, dressed in pink, with a little friend in blue with red hair. She is a type I have tried to draw on horseback but have not succeeded.
    • p. 56 - in a letter, Winter 1881 from Nice, where he stayed with his mother
  • Love is when the desire to be desired takes you so badly, that you feel you could die of it! [And then probably with a fourth sniff as a break] Eh? What? Isn't that so, my dear chap?
    • p. 76
    • according to Henri Perruchot: 'And then - he would make a joke - stuttering and lisping, with a sniff like a laugh at every three words, or some half melancholy comment in his own particular vein'
  • I can't do it, I can't do it. I simply can't help turning a deaf ear to it and banging my head against the wall - yes - and all for an art that escapes me and will never know all the trouble I have taken on its behalf.
    • p. 80 - c. 1882-1883
  • Lautrec was still satisfying his rather classical art-teacher Cormon in Paris. The unreal conventions of Cormon imposed and discouraged him, according to Henri Perruchot

quotes, 1885-1895[edit]

T-Lautrec, by Henri Perruchot[edit]

from: T-Lautrec, by Henri Perruchot (original publication La Vie de Toulouse-Lautrec', Librairie Hachette, 1958. distribué par Presse-Avenir), transl. Humphrey Hare; The World Publishing Company, Cleveland, Ohio & New York, 1960/61

  • The Mirlitons in the Place Vendôme, opposite the column! What a crush! A lot of people, a lot of women, and a lot of nonsense! It's a crush made up of gloved hands manipulating tortoiseshell or gold lorgnettes; but it's a crush all the same!
    • p. 83 - from a note of his impressions
    • Lautrec visited in the Spring of 1885 several exhibitions in Paris, he made a note of his impressions. His spontaneous criticisms were irreverent, with a certain irony. 'Le Mirliton', a Paris cabaret, was opened in 1885 by Aristide Bruant

quotes, 1896-1901[edit]

  • Le vieux con!
  • The old fool!
    • Last words, quoted in: Art News Annual, Vol. 20, (1951), p. 82

quotes, undated[edit]

  • I have always been a pencil.
    • Quoted in: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ‎Riva Castleman, ‎Wolfgang Wittrock (1985) Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: images of the 1890's . p. 44
  • Love is a disease which fills you with a desire to be desired.
    • Quoted in: Peter McWilliams (1997) Love 101: To Love Oneself Is the Beginning of a Lifelong Romance. p. 23
  • I paint things as they are. I don't comment. I record.
    • Quoted in: Henry O. Dormann (2009) The Speaker's Book of Quotations, Updated and Revised. p. 26

Quotes about Henri Toulouse-Lautrec[edit]

Der Maler René Princeteau in seinem Atelier
  • In Paris [Summer of 1881].. ..Lautrec found 'with wild joy' his [older] friend Princeteau. The affection linking the sixteen-year-old cripple to the deaf-mute of thirty-seven was stronger than ever. Their respective infirmities served to increase their friendship, They saw each other every day. Lautrec called Princeteau his 'master'; Princeteau called Lautrec his 'studio foster-child.' Indeed, Lautrec imitated him 'like a monkey.' He copied his methods, his brushwork and his technique which had both solidity and fluency and was much concerned with the management of light.
    • Henri Perruchot, in T-Lautrec, transl. Humphrey Hare; The World Publishing Company, Cleveland, Ohio, 1960/61, p. 56-57

External links[edit]

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