Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born on 24 November 1864, in the South of France, and died on 9 September 1901, aged only 36 years. Due to trauma and a congenital condition, Toulouse-Lautrec’s legs did not grow. He reached maturity with a body trunk of normal size but with abnormally short legs, reaching a height of only 154cm or about five feet.
The poster was painted in 1892 when the singer-comedian-entrepreneur Aristide Bruant asked Lautrec to paint a portrait of him. Bruant was performing at the club les Ambassadeurs and wanted an impressive poster to advertise the show. At Bruant’s insistence, “Ambassadeurs: Aristide Bruant” was posted all over the cabaret, and all over the streets of Paris, drawing considerable attention not just to Bruant but also to the young painter.
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