High Kicks and Low Life: Toulouse-Lautrec

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The Independent Culture

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec has been described by a contemporary critic as, ‘the quintessential chronicler of Paris’. The work of the artist (1864-1901) immediately evokes the decadent atmosphere of fin-de siècle Paris. And a touch of gay Paree might well rub off on Bedford next month when the British Museum Tour of his work arrives at Bedford Gallery.

Through his prolific graphic output of posters, theatre programmes, song-sheets, illustrated periodicals and special edition prints for the growing market of collectors, Lautrec effortlessly managed to combine the excitement of the cabaret and the unforgettable characters of the café-concert with the poignant, shadowy private lives of prostitutes and their clients.

Click on the image to preview exhibition highlights

The exhibition presents a selection of graphic work as part of the tour organised by the British Museum with the support of the Dorset Foundation. Bedford Gallery is one of just four venues in the UK, including the National Museum of Wales, selected to display the works.

The works from the British Museum will be accompanied by works from the Cecil Higgins Collection by Toulouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries.

“It is fantastic news that Bedford Gallery has been chosen by the British Museum as one of four venues for the national tour of the works of Toulouse-Lautrec," said Dave Hodgson, Mayor of Bedford.

High Kicks and Low Life: Toulouse-Lautrec Prints Exhibition at Bedford Gallery runs from 15 January until 10 April 2011, bedfordmuseum.org/exhibitions