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Daemon

Who knows Henri Toulouse Lautrec?

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I just saw Moulin Rouge (1952) and was quite pleased with the direction it took. But I am confused as it portrays Toulouse as a very uptight cynic. The new Moulin Rouge shows him as a passionate outgoing manic little person. These films were depicted in exactly the same couple of years so I am curious on exactly what Henri Toulouse Lautrec was like? I know he had SOME goofiness to him after I saw some of his photos where he dressed up as a woman, a samurai and other characters for fun. Is there a good resource out there that truly illuminates his character?

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That is a very intersting question. I happen to be of the belief that his character was a bit of both portayals. If you read quotes of his, they are often of a cynical nature. But then there is the whimsy of the photographs you mentioned, and of some of his art. But then sometimes his art seems to focus on the negative aspects of things. So, I think that maybe, my own idea here, that he just suffered from cycles of depression, and was sometimes one way, and sometimes the other. How's that for a wishy washy answer. But now I am very interested to know. Gives me something else to ponder when I should be out saving the world.

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I'm sure that, like anyone else, he was a composite person—he had his ups and downs. He spent his brief adult life with deformed legs, in poor health and pursuing the pleasures of the bohemian lifestyle. He died miserable, and paralyzed at age 36, after a few rough years of alcoholism and delirium. That's got to ruin anyone's outlook.

 

I found these to be pretty informative.

 

toulouselautrec.free.fr and lautrec.info.

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I loved that first web site. I first saw the 1952 Moulin Rouge as a child, and have since then been swayed by his story. He just seemed so sad, and have so much beauty in him. I still watch that movie all the time - much to the BF's annoyance. And it still makes me cry every time.

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Good resources Hiram. Thanks.

One thing I found horrific is how it seemed that in his time he was found completely ugly. Today's society is much more tolerant of the different.

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