Tuesday 24 November 2020

Toulouse-Lautrec's Earthquake

 Born on this day in 1864 was the painter and printmaker Toulouse-Lautrec or, to give him his full name, Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa. He is one of those artists whose work – from sketches through to finished paintings – is so distinctive as to be instantly recognisable. It also lends itself well to reproduction, and, as T-L was a great poster designer, his work is to be seen on walls everywhere, from students' rooms to respectable domestic interiors. With its clean lines, sharp draughtsmanship, bold design and strong colours, it always looks good. 
  Although he was hard-working and productive, Toulouse-Lautrec, a heavy drinker and haunter of brothels, was the classic dissipated artist, and died young of a toxic cocktail of alcoholism and syphilis. And, talking of toxic cocktails, he is credited with the invention of the 'Tremblement de Terre' or Earthquake cocktail: half absinthe, half cognac, served in a wine goblet. Don't try this at home, or indeed anywhere. You don't want to end up like these two...

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