When Toulouse-Lautrec looks at Degas, the new exhibition at the Albi museum explores the close links between the two masters
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the donation of the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec to the city of Albi (Tarn), the museum of the same name is hosting a beautiful exhibition: When Toulouse-Lautrec looks at Edgar Degas.
These two major 19th century artists are brought together for the first time through eighty paintings on loan from major museums or from private collections.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) discovered Edgar Degas (1834-1917) during his apprenticeship in Paris in the 1880s. The two men were thirty years apart, Degas was already a recognized artist among the Impressionists.
During a visit to musician friends, Toulouse-Lautrec fell in awe of a painting by the master hanging in the family apartment. Degas’ painting depicts Marie Dihau at the piano. The young Toulouse-Lautrec then decides to also sketch the musician while removing the trace of his inspiration. “He pays homage to Degas by representing in the background above the score the portrait of Marie Dihau by Degas”, explains Maud Rauffet, head of the museum’s public service.
This source of inspiration will never leave Lautrec. Even if the two artists do not see each other, both compose their paintings by playing on the discrepancy and bring a lot of movement. “By vertical lines on a sensation of elongation of the body, Degas’s will was to capture the gesture, just like with Lautrec who also seeks to capture the movement and the moment”details Maud Rauffet in front of these two exhibited works.
In 19th century Montmartre, Lautrec and Degas approach the same themes, the spectacle and whirlwind of Parisian festivals, but nature and animals are also a great source of inspiration. “We see a lot of horses in action, because once again that’s what interests the two artists, managing to capture this movement”.
The exhibition at the Toulouse-Lautrec museum in Albi is all the more remarkable in that it is presented for the first time mirroring the works of these two sacred monsters of painting.
“When Toulouse-Lautrec looks at Edgar Degas” until September 4, 2022 at Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi
Open every day except Monday from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. / 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Price: 6 €