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Toulouse-Lautrec – Resolutely Modern

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Since 1992, the date of the last French retrospective of the artist, countless exhibitions have explored the connections in the works of Toulouse-Lautrec to «Montmartre culture», which he concurrently chronicled and criticised. This sociological approach, pleased by what it tells us of the expectations and anxieties of the time, reduced the scope of an artist whose origins, opinions and open aesthetics protected him from all inquisitorial temptation. Lautrec never positioned himself as an accuser of urban vices and decadent affluence. By his birth, training and life choices, he saw himself rather as a pugnacious and comical interpreter, terribly human in the sense of Daumier or Baudelaire, of a freedom that needs to be better understood by contemporary audiences.

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