TOULOUSE-LAUTREC AS HORSE PAINTER
By RICHARD CARREÑO
[WC News Service]
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) is best known as France's shortest painter, never more than 4 feet, 8 inches. That and -- even by the hard-core middle-brow, the kind of folk who used to troll the once-ubiquitous shopping mall 'art' shops -- for his Belle Époque-era poster prints of Jane Avril, Aristide Bruant, and other habitués of the louche world that the diminutive roué made his own in late 19th-century Paris, principally in the seedier precincts of Montmartre.
There's also the wild-and-crazy guy of movie fame, many popular books, and of an even an abortive West End musical production, written by Charles Aznavour, which lasted all of about three months in 2000.
But 'Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque,' a current exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts here, another, lesser-known side of the intense Art Nouveau practitioner is explored. That of horse painter. Who knew? My bad.