Toulouse Lautrec and the Fin de Siecle Kindle É and

Toulouse Lautrec and the Fin de Siecle Henri de Toulouse Lautrec is known as the disfigured and dangerously self destructive artist who recorded prolifically the louche world of sexy night club dancers lounging whores and drunken bohemian merriment Both in his life and art he is thought to embody the climate of inebriated hilarity and excess of the fin de siecle But as David Sweetman the noted biographer of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin shows in this definitive work there was another Toulouse Lautrec a committed and concerned man who moved in a secret community of anarchist revolutionaries whose work betrayed a deep concern for human suffering an artist who etched his sympathy for fallen women and lesbians into his portraits and who remained loyal to the disgraced Oscar Wilde when the poet was abandoned and reviled by most Sweetman's enlightening study of Toulouse Lautrec has uncovered a man whose alliance with radicals and outspoken social critics such as Felix Feneon is implicit in his workToulouse Lautrec was also a man on the cutting edge of radical art He helped design the sets for the play Ubu Rio which with its foul language and politically subversive imagery stirred up a frenzy of public outrage and condemnation yet changed the course of theatrical history Toulouse Lautrec also created seminal works in the field of graphic art; his posters advertising performances and artistic events were often stolen from their public posting places and reappeared in the living rooms of middle class homes making his posters the Trojan Horse of modern aestheticsToulouse Lautrec's seemingly endless capacity for debauched revelry and his larger than life persona are undeniable Yet hisart is as complex as he was varied and disturbing than it has been perceived in our century Sweetman has introduced in Explosive Acts an altogether new way of looking at Toulouse Lautrec who along with Oscar Wilde Felix Feneon and their cross Channel cohort of artists theorists and writers was responding to many of the same social issues and political currents we now face at our own turn of the century

7 thoughts on “Toulouse Lautrec and the Fin de Siecle

  1. says:

    The author's prose is dense and hard to access and the small print in the version I am reading isn't easy on the eyes That said the figures involved and at the end of the 19th century and dawn of modernism are compelling The antennae of the artists were keyed in to what was to come Toulouse Lautrec's paintings are the most disturbing of the impressionists to me and herald coming movements like expressionism and fauvism and a host of other twentieth century movements W

  2. says:

    This is shockingly goood The premise of the book oddly wonderfully fete ish istically being suggested by a Parisian news article written by Georges Duthuit in 1926about what was basically a tent advertisement or 'funfare decoration' painted by Toulouse Lautrec for Louise Weberthe dancer known as La Goulue The Glutton who had become too fat to dance at the Moulin Rouge and who was trying to start a new portable career as a spruced up belly dancer in 1895 The painting had bee

  3. says:

    The book that brought me into the world of the Impressionist artists Before I read the book the paintings were paintings and afterwards I understood how they were art

  4. says:

    I thought myself somewhat familiar was Lautrec and the myths that have been associated with his story but as it turns out I didn't know much at all Explosive Acts presents the life of Toulouse Lautrec as well as glimpses into the lives of contemporaries Oscar Wilde and Felix Feneon along with descriptions of the political social and cultural issues that affected France during his life time An eye opening read for me I think I'll check out other books by David Sweetman

  5. says:

    Good biography of the key characters in their setting

  6. says:

    I'm not in love with this book yet I'm going to put it down for awhile and see if I can get into it at a later dateart anarchy?

  7. says:


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