Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
“They don’t pretend to be precious stuff; they’ll be torn down in a little while and others will be put up, and so on: they don’t give a damn! That’s great! – and that’s art, by God, and the best kind, mixed in with life, art without any bluffing or boasting and within the easy reach of ordinary guys,” said the anarchist art critic and aesthete Félix Fénéon.
This exhibition, comprising 80 colour “street art” posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries, including Pierre Bonnard, Jules Chéret, Alphonse Mucha and Théophile Steinlen, was long in the planning at Victoria Art Gallery in Bath. Sadly, it was open for less than two months before closing because of the Covid pandemic. The gallery, however, which intends to remain closed until next spring, has responded by moving nearly 50 works from the exhibition online: and not just the images, but also audio accompaniments for 16 of them, giving information about the artists, the bohemian celebrities of turn-of-the-century Montmartre, and background music to bring the atmosphere of the café-concert to life.
Read the full review here