Finally got to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia today. Somewhat of a celebration of my rapidly recovering knee which allowed me to get around the show without falling over.

A very impressive show. I particularly enjoyed seeing his oil paintings on cardboard where he allowed so much of the substrate to show through. His draftmanship was evident in his ability to depict his subject with apparently effortless strokes, with no need to work the whole surface. Here is a small example from his work Woman curling her hair of 1891.


The oil was thinned with turpentine to promote rapid absorption into the cardboard. When i first saw these works I thought they were pastels. I presume that, amongst other things, this technique made it very easy for him to carry his work around, particularly when he was painting in the brothels.

Of equal interest to me were his smaller lithographs using crayon, where again fine and delicate lines were all he needed to convey the subject.

The exhibition runs until 2 April 2013.

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