Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was not only a French artist in the post-impressionist period, he was quite a character too! By the time he died at the start of the 20th century, he was as well known for his love of the Parisian nightlife as he was for his art. Here are five interesting facts about this famous artisan:


He painted posters
Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the first artists to create advertising posters – long before Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein made marketing-style pieces in the Pop Art era. Toulouse-Lautrec painted promotional posters for the Moulin Rouge in Paris and the women in his artwork became the ‘celebrities’ of their day.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Moulin Rouge Poster 

He created a cocktail
As a big fan of absinthe, Toulouse-Lautrec decided to develop his own recipe for a cocktail containing the spirit. The drink was named ‘Tremblement de Terre’ or ’The Earthquake’ because it was a strong mixture with cognac.

Absinthe Cocktail - Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec


He had a funny nickname
At just over five feet tall, Toulouse-Lautrec had the body of an adult but child-size legs after fracturing them at the age of 14. His stature and other features caused him to be nicknamed ‘The Coffeepot’. He even created a few paintings featuring coffee pots, showing that he wasn’t offended by his funny nickname.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Coffee Pot


He made A LOT of art
Over his 20-year art career Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created a huge amount of artwork. He painted over one thousand canvases, made 363 advertising posters and did more than five thousand drawings. And that’s not including his glass and ceramic art. He certainly kept himself busy!

At The Moulin Rouge by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec


He liked fancy dress
He loved a good party and was renowned for turning up at events in fancy dress. He was a fan of the circus and painted many performers during his career, so it’s no surprise that one of his favourite costumes to wear was a clown outfit.

Fancy Dress - Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec