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Lecture: Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

29th March 2016


Hartford Methodist Church Hall
Beach Road


Edgar Degas, much like Manet, was a ‘Flaneur’, Aesthete, and innovator par excellence. His subject-matter, the ‘everyday’ world of the Theatre, the Street, and the Artist’s Studio, has something in common with the work of the Impressionists, with whom he exhibited, and with his great contemporaries – named by Roger Fry the ‘Post Impressionists’, but he has a way with colour and composition which is all his own. Painter of some of the greatest of Impressionist pictures, Degas was one of the first to absorb the influence of Japanese art and of the camera, which give his compositions a radical and modern feel, a dynamism which anticipates the 20th Century and its preoccupation with movement.


This lecture looks at Degas the Impressionist, Modernist, Classicist, Painter, Photographer, Sculptor.


Le Comte Henri de Toulouse Lautrec was from an old aristocratic family, but he took to the life of the modern city, the brothels and cabarets, like the proverbial ‘Canard a l’eau’. His rapid notational style suited perfectly the evanescent quality of life in his chosen ‘demi-monde’, so we are able to share the ‘joie de vivre’ of those heady times we call the ‘Belle Epoque’.


Superficial though this might sound, the changes he brought to art were significant and lasting; like Degas, a great admirer of the Japanese colour woodblock, Toulouse Lautrec exploited its potential to the full, notably in a short but game-changing series of posters for the theatres and cabarets of Monmartre, and its meteoric star performers. Through the posters and the paintings we can breathe the air, share the thrills, (thankfully without paying the price of admission) to this most captivating and dangerous of worlds.


2.00pm - £5.00 including refreshments.

Click here for a map to the venue.


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