High Kicks & Low Life: Toulouse-Lautrec prints

A British Museum tour

Poster of a woman dressed in black

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), 'Divan Japonais', 1893. Colour lithograph in black, orange, yellow and olive green ink. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

14 May to 8 August 2010

Free admission

This exquisite exhibition of around 50 prints by the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), shows the glamour and style of 19th century Parisian theatre and studies of daily life. Here are a few of the works on display:

Described by a contemporary critic as 'the quintessential chronicler of Paris', the work of Toulouse-Lautrec immediately evokes the decadent atmosphere of fin-de siècle Paris. Through his prolific output of posters, theatre programmes and special edition prints, Lautrec effortlessly managed to combine the excitement of the cabaret with the poignant, shadowy private lives of prostitutes and their clients.

Divided into two sections, 'Public Passions' and 'Private Passions', this exhibition presents a selection from the British Museum's fine holdings of Toulouse-Lautrec's graphic work. 'Public Passions' presents striking images of the can-can dancer Louise Weber, known as La Goulue ('The Glutton') and 'Private Passions' shows how Lautrec portrayed the extremely private life of prostitutes with great sensitivity.

Learn more

Read more about Toulouse-Lautrec on our biography page and you can also download a copy of our glossary of printmaking terms here:


'High Kicks & Low Life: Toulouse-Lautrec prints' is a British Museum tour, supported through the generosity of the Dorset Foundation.

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