is born at 6am on the 24th November in the Hôtel de Bosc in Albi,
a city in the south of France. He is the first son of Count Alphonse-Charles-Jean-Marie
Toulouse-Lautrec-Montfa (1838-1930), born of a very old French family, and
of his wife Adèle-Zoé-Marie-Marquette Tapié of Céleyran.
|1868||Richard-Constantine, Henri's younger brother, dies at the age of one.
In August, his parents separate.
|1872||The countess moves to Paris with eight year-old Henri. He starts school
at the Lycée Fontanes in October, and his classmates include his
cousin Louis Pascal and Maurice Joyant, who is to become his friend and
his first biographer. He covers his schoolbooks with sketches and caricatures.
René Princeteau, a friend of his father and a deaf-mute artist who
paints animals, gives him his first drawing lessons.
|1875|| In January, young Henri is in fragile health and goes back to Albi with
his mother. He is given private lessons. Regular baths at the spa in Amélie-les-Bains
are prescribed to help him to grow. His mother consults several doctors
over the following years.
|1878||Henri has hardly grown over the past ten years. In May, the young boy
breaks his left thighbone in a fall in Albi. With his leg in plaster, he
is bedridden for a long time. He recovers in Barèges, Amélie-les-Bains
and Nice, where he spends his time reading, drawing and painting.
|1879||In August Henri breaks his right thighbone whilst walking with his mother
in Barèges. His legs stop growing. These fractures could be due to
insufficient ossification (osteogenesis imperfecta), a congenital abnormality.
But in fact, his illness stays non-identified. All medical treatments prove
to be ineffective, including electric shock treatment, and Henri remains
crippled. His legs, suffering from rickets and almost completely straight,
have to support an enormous torso. He never grows taller than 1.52m (5 ft).
|1880||Henri stays in Nice from January to March. Encouraged by his uncle Charles,
he does a lot of painting and drawing in Albi and Céleyran. Since
1871, Henri has created some 2400 drawings using a variety of techniques.
|1881||In July, Henri fails his baccalauréat in Paris but is accepted
in Toulouse for the October session. This is when he decides to become an
artist. With the support of Princeteau and his uncle Charles, he eventually
talks his mother round. He returns to Paris and stays with Princeteau in
his studio at 233 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
|1882||Henri spends winter in Albi and Céleyran. In March, he leaves for
Paris to study the Arts. He works in Princeteau's studio where he meets
the painter Jean-Louis Forain. On the 17th April, on Princeteau and Henri
Rachou's recommendation, he starts work in famous exhibition artist Léon
Bonnat's studio, at no. 30 Avenue de Clichy. Bonnat, who becomes a teacher
at the Académie de Paris in 1883, is a very strict drawing teacher,
but he doesn't have much respect for his student. After Bonnat's studio
closes in September, Henri, like most of his fellow student's, studies with
Ferdon Cormon in his studio at 10 rue Constance. His classmates include
Rachou, Albert Grenier, Charles Laval, François Gauzi, and Louis
Anquetin. He also gets to know Emile Bernard and Vincent Van Gogh at Cormon's
Le Jeune Routy à Céleyran
|1883||Lautrec has his first relationship with Marie Charlet, a 17 year-old "model",
but there is no proof... With Bernard as the intermediary, he meets "Father"
Tanguy who presents him with works by Cézanne. In May, his mother
buys the castle of Malromé, not far from Bordeaux, where Henri spends
|1884||Moves to 19bis rue Fontaine in Montmartre, sub-letting from Lily and Albert
Grenier. Meets Edgar Degas, whose studio is in the house next door (until
1891), and holds a great admiration for him. After that, Henri lives and
paints at his friend Rachou's house, at 22 rue Canneron, and then with Gauzi,
at no. 7 rue Tourlaque. Takes part in his first collective exhibition in
La Grosse Maria ou Vénus de Montmartre
|1885||Lautrec frequents Montmartre's cabarets – the Elysée-Montmartre,
the Moulin de la Galette – but has a preference for Artistide Bruant's
Mirliton where he also displays his work. He stays with Anquetin in Etrepagny
(Normandy) and with the Greniers in Villiers-sur-Morin.
|1886||He spends his summer in Villiers-sur-Morin, Malromé, Arcachon and
Respide. He meets Van Gogh in Cormon's studio and they become friends.
He leaves Cormon's studio in the autumn and rents a studio at no.
7 rue Tourlaque, on the corner of rue Caulaincourt, which he keeps until
1897. This is where he meets Suzanne Valadon, who models for him. She is
his mistress until she attempts suicide in 1888.
|1887||Lives with doctor Henri Bourges at no. 19 rue Fontaine until 1891. Takes
part in a collective exhibition in Toulouse in May under the assumed name
of "Treclau", an anagram of Lautrec. Van Rysselberghe invites
him to an exhibition in Brussels, and he exhibits with Van Gogh and Anquetin
in Paris. Develops an interest in coloured Japanese prints.
Portrait de Vincent Van Gogh
|1888||Belgian critic Octave Maus invites him to present eleven pieces at the
"Vingt" (the Twenties) exhibition in Brussels in February. Théo
Van Gogh buys Poudre de Riz (Rice Powder) at a price of 150 Francs for the
Goupil gallery. Lautrec spends his autumn in Villiers-sur-Morin.
|1889||Participates regularly in the "Salon des Indépendants"
(Independent's exhibition) and the "Cercle artistique et littéraire
Volnay" (the Volnay art and literature society) from now until 1894.
He paints a series of outdoor portraits in the Père Forest garden
in Montmartre. Spends the summer in Arcachon. Wins a regatta race aboard
the "Damrémont" yacht. The Moulin Rouge opens on 90 boulevard
de Clichy on the 5th October. Lautrec becomes a regular. He has a table
reserved and displays his work there.
|1890||Lautrec goes to Brussels with Signac and Guibert in January for the opening
of the "Vingt" (the Twenties) exhibition. Scandal breaks out when
Lautrec defends Van Gogh and challenges H. de Groux to a duel. The duel
doesn't take place. On the 6th April, not long before he commits suicide,
Van Gogh visits Lautrec in Paris. His classmate Joyant takes over from Théo
Van Gogh at the Goupil gallery, on Montmartre hill. Spends the summer in
Taussat, a seaside resort. Trips to Biarritz and San Sebastian. Lautrec
meets Jane Avril. He paints Moulin-Rouge (Dressage des nouvelles par Valentin
le Désossée - Valentin le Désossée dressing
the new girls), which Joseph Oller, the manager, soon buys for the establishment.
|1891||Moves in to the house next door, no.21 rue de la Fontaine, with Bourges.
Stays in Arcachon and Malromé in August. In the autumn, his cousin
and friend Gabriel Tapié of Céleyran comes to Paris to study
medicine. Lautrec makes his first engravings. Creates "A la Mie",
and the notorious Moulin-Rouge poster that makes him famous overnight amongst
the elite of Paris.
|1892||Goes to Brussels in February for an exhibition, and to London at the end
of May. Spends the end of the summer in Taussat. Has a project of a print
for Yvette Guilbert, but she declines. He designs the prints for the Divan
Japonais and for Bruant.
|1893||Joyant organises Lautrec's first large private exhibition –
30 pieces – at the Boussod-Valadon gallery. Lautrec visits Bruant
in Saint-Jean-les-deux-Jumeaux in April. He lives and works in the same
house, on rue Tourlaque. His mother moves into rue de Douai nearby. Lautrec
is introduced to the literary world, in particular that of the theatre,
through the intermediary of Bernard, Romain Coolus and Félix Fénéon.
He attends all the premières. He lives for some time in a brothel
converted from a XVII century palace on rue d'Amboise, and produces
16 works there. He takes part in the "painters-engravers" exhibition
and presents eleven lithographs. Lautrec moves in to his mother's
apartment temporarily when Bourges gets married. Creates the poster for
Jane Avril's show in the Jardin de Paris.
|1894||In January, Lautrec moves in to a ground floor flat at 27 rue Caulaincourt
for 18 months. He goes to Brussels with Anquetin for the "La Libre
Esthétique" (Free Aesthetics) exhibition, then on to Haarlem
and Amsterdam where they study Rembrandt and Hals. Exhibition in Toulouse
in May. In June and October, Lautrec goes to London where he displays posters
for the "Royal Aquarium". Sets out on a long journey to Spain
during the summer, which takes him to Burgos, Madrid and Tolède.
Stays with his mother in Malromé. Album of lithographs for Yvette
Guilbert. Spends a lot of time with Natanson's entourage and his "Revue
Blanche" (White Review); meets the Nabis Bonnard, Vuillard and Vallotton.
Lives in a brothel for some time.
Au Salon de la rue des Moulins
|1895||Goes to Brussels for the "La Libre Esthéthique" (Free
Aesthetics) exhibition and leaves for London with Joyant in May. Meets Oscar
Wilde and Whistler, who he sees as role models. Excursions to Normandy with
Dethomas. Lives at 30 rue Fontaine from June onwards, and stays there until
1898. Sails to Lisbon via Bordeaux on the "Chili" in August
with Maurice Guibert. They come back via Madrid and Tolède where
they study Vélasquez, Goya and Le Greco. Takes part in a major lithographs
exhibition at the School of Fine Arts in Paris; creates the scenery for
La Goulue's fairground stall at the Trône Fair, held on what
is now the Place de la Nation; frequents the "Irish and American Bar".
Meeting with singer May Belfort. Poster for May Milton and portraits of
|1896||Second major private exhibition in Joyant's gallery, 9 rue Forest,
which attracts numerous visitors. Lautrec refuses to sell a piece to the
old King of Serbia, who he sees as a vulgar "pig farmer". Stays
in Havre, Bordeaux and Arcachon. Goes to Brussels with Joyant in February.
In August, sets out on a long journey to Spain and goes to Burgos, Madrid
and Tolède. Develops an interest in erotic Japanese coloured prints
in general, and those by Utamaro in particular. Visits castles in the Loire
in November. Takes part in a poster exhibition in Reims. T. Bernard introduces
Lautrec to the world of bicycle racing. He creates two prints on the theme.
"Les Elles" lithographies album.
|1897||Takes part in a "Libre Esthetique" (Free Aesthetics) exhibition
in Brussels in February. In May, moves his studio to 15 avenue Frochot,
not far from the Place Pigalle (until 1898). Leaves behind 87 works which
the new tenants use to cover holes in the wallpaper; the rest are sold for
next to nothing. Goes to London with Joyant in February. Sails Holland's
canals on a barge with Dethomas. Hardly paints but drinks a lot. Has an
attack of delirium tremens during the summer in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.
|1898||His mother rents an apartment at no. 9 rue de Douai. Exhibits 78 works
at Goupil's gallery in London in May. Second lithograph album dedicated
to Yvette Guilbert, for London editor Sands. Rarely sober, his work diminishes.
Spends the summer in Arromanches and Villeneuve-sur-Yonne. Suffers from
a persecution delirium, believes he is being pursued by the police and takes
refuge at a friends house.
|1899||Provides the illustrations for Jules Renard's "Histoires Naturelles"
(Natural histories). Bouts of depression, obsession and anxiety become more
and more frequent. In addition to this, his beloved mother leaves Paris
in January to look after her own mother who is ill in Albi. Lautrec has
an alcoholic fit in the brothel on rue des Moulins. He is confined to a
mental hospital on avenue de Madrid in Neuilly at the end of February, and
stays there until the 17th May. His mental state sparks unkind remarks in
the press. During his time in hospital, he draws circus scenes from memory
using coloured pencils. He becomes more famous after the scandal he provokes,
and prices go up. Takes his convalescence in Albi, Le Crotoy, Le Havre and
Bordeaux, where Paul Viaud takes care of him. The two of them go to Taussat
in a yacht. Lautrec spends his autumn with Viaud in Paris.
L'Anglaise du Star au Havre et En Cabinet particulier ou Au Rat-Mort
|1900||Argues with his family, who want him to have a guardian. Loses his lust
for life, falls back into alcoholism. Is member of a jury to judge posters
at the Universal Exhibition in Paris; participates in a wheelchair. Stays
in Taussat from May to September, then rents an apartment and a studio in
Bordeaux for himself and Viaud in October (until April 1901). Viaud is responsible
for keeping an eye on his alcohol consumption.
|1901||Attends numerous theatre productions and dedicates six paintings to Messaline. Another fit in March results in cerebral haemorrhaging; his legs are paralysed. From the beginning of April, he spends three months in Paris where he settles his estate and signs important works. On the 15th July, he leaves Paris permanently with Viaud. He goes back to the Arcachon basin, then to Taussat. On the 15th August, he has a stroke in Taussat which leaves him paralysed on one side. On the 20th August, his mother takes him to Malromé where he dies on the 9th September at 2.15am, aged 36, in the presence of his parents, his cousin Gabriel and Viaud. His funeral is held in Saint-André-du-Bois; his remains are later transferred to Verdelais (in Gironde). His last two paintings are "L'Amiral Viaud" (Admiral Viaud) and "Un Examen à la faculté de médecine à Paris" (An exam at the faculty of medicine in Paris).|