Tag Archives: post-impressionist painter

the (perhaps) surprising work of a well-known artist

almond blossoms by van gogh

Almond Blossoms 1890

Can you identify this very well-known artist based on some of his lesser known work?     

a pair of boots by van gogh

                                                                A Pair of Shoes 1887

head of a skeleton with burning cigarette by van gogh

Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette 1885-86

rocks and ruins by van gogh                                                                Rocks and Ruins 1888

or from his photograph taken at the age of 13? 

vincent van gogh

Need more clues?

He was Dutch…born in the Netherlands to upper middle-class parents… 

he worked for a firm of art dealers as a young adult…

he had aspirations to become a pastor and for a short time worked as a missionary in Belgium… 

irises by van gogh

                                                                                                                          Irises 1889

still life with a basket of vegetables by van gogh

                                        Still Life with a Basket of Vegetables 1885

I am certainly no art expert and was not familiar with this artist’s work except for what he is best remembered for, so it was something of a surprise when I came across paintings that I would never have guessed were his. 

by van gogh

                     Le Moulin de Blute-Fin 1886

This artist spoke several languages, lived in Paris and southern France, was an associate of Gauguin, and was friends with Impressionist painter, Toulouse Lautrec. 

the old mill by van gogh

                                                                The Old Mill 1888

He may be remembered as  much for his tragic personal life as for his work as an artist. If I add that he drank too much absinthe, was an excessive smoker, may have suffered  from  syphilis,  had hallucinations and psychotic episodes, was  hospitalized  several times for mental illness, cut off his ear (or part of his ear), and shot himself at the age of 37 and died of his wound, you may recognize this artist.

Certainly, you will most likely recognize the painting he is most famous for.  

starry night by van gogh

                                                         The  Starry Night 1889

portrait of van gogh by Lautrec

           Portrait of Vincent van Gogh by Toulouse Lautrec. 1887

starry night over the Rhone by van gogh

                                            Starry Night Over the Rhone 1888

For more information about the work and life of Vincent van Gogh click here.


The Fascinating Toulouse-Lautrec

lautrec 2




A work of art is sufficient onto itself but sometimes the back story is so intriguing as to add additional spice and flavor to the work. Such is the case of the French artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, a fascinating man with fascinating friends, living in a fascinating place during fascinating times.


Famous for his connection to the Moulin Rouge and the Can-Can, 

moulin rougeLautrec’s persona continues to appear in popular culture: such as the films Moulin Rouge 1952, Revenge of the Pink Panther 1978, Moulin Rouge, the musical 2001.

lautrec 6


lautrec 3Easily recognized by his short stature, caused by an illness that left him with child-size legs, Lautrec was an aristocrat from a wealthy           French family who chose to live in bohemian Montmartre most of his adult life.

Lautrec painted a variety of subjects but is probably best known forjane avril his paintings and posters of cabaret scenes, dancers, entertainers, and prostitutes. His work was often considered scandalous and controversial.


lautrec poster 2lautrec poster

lautrec 4

His friends included Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, and many impressionist and post-impressionist painters. Lautrec died in 1901 at age 36 from complications of alcoholism and syphilis.

In 2005, his painting of a laundress, La blanchisseuse ,

lautrec 5                                           sold for over 22 million dollars.

Reproductions of his art can be found in books, on-line, and on calendars, postcards, posters, and fine art prints.  

I chose Lautrec as the first artist featured in creating inexpensive wall art because I just finished reading (again) Moulin Rouge by Pierre La Mure, (1950);  a biographical novel of Lautrec that gives a great feeling for what it would have been like living in Montmartre at the turn of the century. Available on Amazon.

lautrec 7

Lautrec’s work is not always “pretty” but much of it has color, movement, energy, and vibrancy…and a great back story.

To view all of Lautrec’s work click here to visit the toulouse-lautrec-foundation site