One of the most popular exhibits to come to the Crocker Art Museum will continue on view until April 26th. If you aren’t one of the thousands here in Sacramento who have already viewed it, definitely take advantage of this opportunity before it’s gone.

“Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Modern: Paris 1880-1910”

No, he’s not just the artist/character from Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, this exhibit encompasses a wide ranging variety of artwork from the turn of the century including lithographs, paintings, drawings, watercolors, sketches, posters, journals, and more. Not only is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec featured, but 49 other artists as well who help capture the Parisian culture during this changing time. As a result of industrialization, notions and interpretations of modernity were being experimented with by Parisian culture. As the Crocker Art Museum puts it, “Paris was a breeding ground for artistic and literary movements that came to define a shifting, complex society”. And you’ll see from depictions of cabaret dancers, clowns and cafe scenes, that entertainment was a newfound source of diversion for society members-- especially for avant-garde writers, artists, and philosophers who “sought to shake the constraints of French Academic standards”

1893. Lithograph printed in five colors, 50 13/16 x 36 13/16 inches. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

1892/93. Color lithograph, 31 x 23 3/8 inches. Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.

Artwork by Toulouse-Lautrec takes center stage in the largest gallery dedicated to the show, and advertising has definitely highlighted his importance. Reflected by his vibrant life and early death, his works are electric, exotic, and far from formulaic as some might find the traditional still lifes on display not far from “Jane Avril” pictured above left, or “Le Divan Japonais” pictured above right. We recognize these posters and appreciate their fame, but even more amazing is the opportunity to escape into the world that surrounded these artists and the bohemian lifestyle that drew them to Montmartre, the area of Paris that so many called home, even if only for a time.

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