by Scholes, Robert
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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 - 1901)
He was born in Albi, the son and heir of Comte Alphonse-Charles de Toulouse and last in line of a family that dated back a thousand years. As a child, he was weak and often sick. By the time he was 10 he had begun to draw and paint. His bones were weak and at the age of 12 he broke his left leg and at 14 his right leg. The bones failed to heal properly, and his legs stopped growing. He reached young adulthood with a body trunk of normal size but with abnormally short legs. He was well under five feet tall.
Moving to Paris as a young man, he settled in Montmartre and spent his time in the music halls and brothels of the quarter, painting the denizens of that world and leading a life of dissipation. His brilliant posters and post-impressionist paintings, which are similar in style to the work of Degas, are extremely valuable today.