“Pin-Ups: Toulouse Lautrec and The Art of Celebrity is the first NGS exhibition to explore the work of one of the most innovative and popular French artists of the era known as the ‘Belle Époque’. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was an outstanding painter, printmaker and caricaturist renowned above all for his immersion in the theatrical and celebrity culture of Paris. This exhibition will bring together around 75 posters, prints, paintings and drawings by Lautrec and contemporaries such as Pierre Bonnard, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen and Jules Chéret, the ‘father of the modern poster’. These will include many of the artist’s finest graphic artworks made for legendary nightclubs such as the Moulin Rouge and the Ambassadeurs. The exhibition will also include the work of British artists who were drawn to the dynamic café culture of Paris, such as Walter Sickert, Arthur Melville, JD Fergusson and William Nicholson.
Pin-Ups will capture the colour and excitement of this period of economic prosperity and cultural optimism. This was a climate that gave rise to a new mass-celebrity and consumer culture and a golden age of the poster. Public enthusiasm for these images was such that they were removed from walls by collectors, sometimes as soon as they were put up, a process that transformed ephemeral advertising to a collectable form of fine art which bridged ‘high’ and popular culture for the first time.” — National Galleries of Scotland
Christopher Baker, Director of European and Scottish Art and Portraiture at the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “This fascinating exhibition provides an opportunity to taste the decadence and visual richness of culture in late nineteenthcentury Paris. The elegance and inventiveness of Toulouse-Lautrec’s brilliant designs which helped transform contemporary performers into stars and have an enduring appeal will be set in the wider context of his contemporaries’ riveting work.”
Images courtesy National Galleries of Scotland.