A brand-new major exhibition which explores 19th Century Paris through the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and other renowned poster artists – including Alphonse Mucha, Pierre Bonnard and Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen – is set to open at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath this March.
The first ever UK exhibition to showcase Lautrec’s entire poster collection, over 80 of the multitalented French artist’s works will be displayed, including a number of rare and unseen pieces. Curated to emulate the way in which Lautrec’s works were viewed in the 19th Century, pieces will be displayed as if they were on the Parisian streets, some even sized from floor to ceiling.
From Lautrec’s second-to-last poster of dancer Jane Avril in 1899 – in which shortly after completing he was institutionalised – to his works dedicated to French singer Yvette Guilbert, visitors will get a real glimpse of the artists life and the vibrant and histrionic style of Paris at the time.
The retrospective will explore the depth and range of Toulouse-Lautrec’s print work, starting with Montmartre in the 1880s, unearthing the celebrity, fashion and stardom culture of the period; his works include colourful depictions of Parisian cafés, cabarets and celebrated performers revealing his fascination with ‘Bohemian Paris’.
Victoria Art Gallery manager and exhibition curator Jon Benington said: ‘Toulouse-Lautrec elevated the status of the colour poster such that it became the street art of the 1890s. His iconic images for the Moulin Rouge Cabaret and other palaces of popular entertainment were so desirable that fans ripped them from their hoardings. Other leading artists who followed in his wake, such as Mucha, Steinlen and Bonnard, also feature in this stunning one-off show.’
One of the most celebrated artists associated with the Post-Impressionism movement, Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre is an exhibition not to be missed.
15 February – 26 May 2020
Victoria Art Gallery, Bridge St, Bath BA2 4AT
Tickets from £6. victoriagal.org.uk