(1864-1901) French artist. Associated with the Impressionists, he was active in Paris where he painted entertainers and prostitutes in a style characterized by strong colors, bold design, and brilliant draftsmanship. From 1891 his lithographic posters were a great success, skillfully executed and yet retaining the spontaneous character of sketches. His later work was to prove vital to the development of poster art.
Toulouse-Lautrec was born at Albi (where there is now a museum of his work) in S France. He showed an early gift for drawing, to which he turned increasingly after a riding accident at the age of 15 left him with crippled and stunted legs. In 1882 he began to study art in Paris. He admired Goya's etchings and Degas' work, and in the 1880s he met Gauguin and was inspired by Japanese prints. Lautrec became a familiar figure drawing and painting in the dance halls, theaters, cafés, circuses, and brothels. He often painted with thinned-out oils on cardboard.