The dance halls, cabarets, brothels and race tracks of Paris fascinated French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He caught their raffish spirit in countless drawings, paintings and superb prints.
About 100 of his works are on show in the traveling exhibition, "Toulouse-Lautrec: The Baldwin M. Baldwin Collection," at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.Toulouse-Lautrec himself came from an aristocratic family, but he preferred the company of music-hall singers, dancers, prostitutes and clowns. He gave them a kind of immortality in the posters, menus and other advertisements that he did for places like the Moulin Rouge cabaret.
These sparkled around the city, publicizing the fin de siecle exuberance of the times. Other, more intimate images show the sadder, harder side of working people's life.
The Baldwin collection belongs to the San Diego Museum of Art and represents a third of the artist's body of printed work and all his posters.