Last week Azucena and I visited Philly to take in some family, food, and museums. Family and food were both wonderful, and so were the museums. One nice surprise at the Philadelphia Museum of Art was almost an entire room dedicated to prints by one of my very favorites, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, painter and poster-maker in fin-de-siècle Paris. Henri used to hang out in brothels and dance halls, portraying dancers and prostitutes from the Montmartre neighborhood in which he lived. Sadly, he died young from drinking too much and complications from syphilis. So, you know, take that as a lesson.
The first sketch is my final version of Henri. I also did a few of the people he knew in Paris: Emile Bernard and Carmen Gaudin. He knew Vincent van Gogh as well. I recently watched an excellent documentary on van Gogh and he really comes off as a mal humorous, irritable, self-absorbed jerk, which is why I drew him that way. I saw another documentary by the same people on Lautrec that is equally entertaining and illuminating.
We also spied this fine example of American artistry whilst at the PMA: