Google remembers Toulouse-Lautrec

Online search engine uses famous bohemian artist as its front-page doodle on what would have been his 150th birthday

24 November 2014

GOOGLE has used an illustration of Toulouse-Lautrec as its front page doodle today to mark would have been the artist’s 150th birthday.

Born in Albi, Tarn, in 1864, Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa was famous in La Belle Epoque Paris of the 19th century for his painting style and for his size.

He was just 1.54metres (5ft 1in) as a genetic disorder in childhood left him an adult-sized body but child-sized legs.

His post-Impressionist style became world famous with posters for the Moulin Rouge in Paris – which led to his social life in brothels and with prostitutes becoming infamous.

However, his art was about more than Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge and his paintings of French chanson singer Aristide Bruant and cancan dancer La Goulue are known worldwide. Friends with Edgar Degas and Vincent Van Gogh, his style is said to have been one of the major influences for Picasso.

An alcoholic, he was also said to have invented the Earthquake cocktail - three parts absinthe, three parts cognac, on ice. He died of syphilis in 1901 at the age of 36 and was buried at Verdelais (Gironde).

His mother helped raise funds for an art gallery in his memory in Albi, the Fondation Toulouse-Lautrec, and it has more than 200 works and hundreds of posters.

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