After these very kinds words that Mr. Carlson has ah, announced my speaking and, that I find a little exaggerated. In any case I will try to say a few things in a very informal manner about what we have done, why we think it was a useful thing to do, and why it reveals facts that a great many books that have actually been devoted to Lautrec had not previously emphasized. Ah, Toulouse Lautrec died in 1901 that is now 68 years ago. The first natural feeling is if you want to know something about a figure you would like to see those who have been his contemporaries. Had I been intelligent enough and applied myself when I was young, I remember very well meeting a number of people who knew him well. Only in those days I wasn't quick enough to ask them. I knew it was _____ who was a writer and a celebrated with who appears also in one of the Lautrec posters. I knew it was um _______ who was one of the editors of the _____ where ___ Toulouse Lautrec was an intimate and where some of his drawings appeared and I knew some other ______ who wrote a book about Lautrec but in those days I didn't know that I was going a little later to need what they might have told me. At the present time in 1969 very, very few people as you can easily see are left who could give you any relevant information about Lautrec. I was very lucky this year as a matter of fact last month I was in Toulouse and I was able to see the adopted son of a very good friend of Lautrec who when he was eight or nine still, knew the painter and this gentleman now 79, was able to tell me a few things but obviously a boy of eight or nine, while he may pick up a few facts not what you really call a historical source. So I did know a few years ago ________ who was the person who inherited the chateau that where Lautrec died the chateau _____, and where Lautrec had often been from the time that his mother had bought that chateau. When _____ who was a very agreeable and very pleasant person told me a few things but still I came sort of at the tail end of all this. I'm bringing these facts to your attention simply to indicate that now in order to know what we would like to know we really have to turn to documents, not to these flights of fancy that led the same as the _____has permitted himself in writing when I _____ in which and was if a rare and the other people involved in the movie based upon this already unlikely story. They finally ended up with something that has hardly any relation to the historic figure that existed. Now as Mr. Carlson said to you a moment ago, Mr. Herbert _____ who is seated over there in the audience and I started sort of in a natural way, the way let us say, a plant grows to sort of get interested in this aren't there any real documents, aren't there any letters that would fill in the gaps of what we would like to know and for the last ten years we have really rather single-mindedly each of us pursue this _____and the result is this very interesting group of letters which as you also heard is more than half of the known surviving letters; letters, postal cards, telegrams and so forth of Lautrec. Now you might say how is it that a famous man like that, there aren't more than what four hundred fifty autographs left in this work, which is really not a very large number for a man who was distinguished by parentage, by social connection, by money and by his personal achievements all of which might be called reasons for which people would keep the letters or autographs that they received from you. Well first of all, Lautrec moved in what was a relatively _____ circle. The artists he knew, well they didn't have households in which you know, there was a file with an album with a clasp and plastic covers the way now you might keep them and for example, a moment ago I said that this last month I saw the son of the adopted son of one of his friends well obviously one of the things there asked is how come we have never seen a letter addressed by Lautrec to your father who after all was very close to him, who introduced him to the _____where Lautrec actually took his first real professional lessons in painting. Well he said, yes, they existed but they were just worth _____. So what we have must do for a great deal more and buy a little bit of detective work we must try to find out from those letters more than they perhaps are willing to reveal. Lautrec has given us another problem in that he didn't date most of his letters. Now in this project I should say Mr. _____ a curator of prints at the _____in Paris. The largest print collection in the world with five million prints of which at least two million duplicates, which is quite something to visualize. Mr. _____ has helped us in the editing and he has in many cases, been able to come up with certain dates, certain suggested dates. Now Lautrec's life obviously is a relatively short one because he was born in 1864 and died in 1901 so the whole thing is only thirty-seven years. There are no letters earlier than his sixth year and they are practically none of his last year when he was already in extremely poor shape. Still a great many things have come or will come to be known when this book appears this fall, we hope. Now let us look a moment at the family; the family of Toulouse Lautrec is one of the oldest families and the oldest titled families in Europe. They go back to the eighth century to the time of well the father of _____. There are very few noble families anywhere in the world and in Europe, who can trace themselves back so far. The answers to Toulouse Lautrec in the eleventh century that is before the Albigensian Crusade were more powerful than the kings of France. They were richer than the kings of France and this may not be totally unrelated to the fact that there was an Albigensian Crusade because that crusade finished that state of affairs which neither the Pope nor the king of France liked very much. The Lautrec family was very conscious of its inheritance and normally you wouldn't have expected a man like Toulouse Lautrec to be a sportsman, a snob and a dilatant which is what most of his immediate ancestors and uncles and in a way his father was. His father however, in addition to being perhaps the last man in France to hunt with a fork and on his wrist and do all sorts of things innumerably using stories are told about his father how one day when somebody complained about, a lady complained about her foot being sore or hurting her, she brought out a _____ and asked her to take off her shoe and an unthinkable thing in the _____ of 1885 and that he would cut off whatever bothered her. He also is known one night to have camped in a camel hair tent in front of RB Cathedral; RB being sort of the family seed saying that she was just reviving a custom that undoubtedly in the past had been valid. Well this terrible complicated and rather disagreeable gentleman could very well have been a model for their son, but various things happened in the upbringing of the painter that made this impossible and that made it for him very undesirable. Lautrec even though he was, I mean what the French call a _____a name that creates a draft meaning that all the doors open when you pronounce that name even though he many times didn't even write his _____ particle, he never used his acquaintances socially to sell a painting, never, I have no trace of that and altogether was very unwilling to consider that aspect was a very good friend to many of these young painters who came from extremely _____or, less than _____ backgrounds. He was in the first years of his life undoubtedly very favored as against the majority of the children of France and having very wealthy parents who had enormous revenues from the vineyards and he was it seemed in very nice shape. This however was an illusion in that he had a bone disease which the doctors have apparently, up to this point not made up their mind on, and suggest exactly what sort of bone disease it was. I mean, there are at least six or eight different views in any case, he broke his legs twice; that is he broke one leg and about fifteen months later, he broke another leg. Now to give you an example, before the correspondence was really assembled it would have seemed that his legs were perfectly normal up to the point that he broke them and he broke them on the most ridiculous, the basis that is he fell from a low stool in one case in his drawing room and drawing room of his grandmother and I mean, that's not for a normal person, that's no reason to break a leg at 13, but what then appeared is that although they healed both these breaks, the legs never grew after that but our correspondence shows that he had treatment of his legs before he had broken either of them. There was at that time sort of fad just like you know, the carrot juice or the, this and that weightwatchers, what do I know, ah, I never have watched my weight ah, which was an electric brush treatment. Well one of the letters tells us that he went in for this electric brush treatment before he was 13 so why he never admitted it and why his family never admitted it but something they saw was not right. Now he obviously thought wrongly that he was awkward he makes a number of statements in his letters but your awkward grandson, your grandson or your son cherished by the _____ but obviously meaning in a derogatory sense, that who isn't otherwise cherished you know by, and so on. Well he did not realize probably until a good deal later that what he had was a congenital thing and one of the reasons for this may be found in the fact that his two grandmothers were sisters. The southern families, and especially those of this type of standing in making marriage contracts and in France you know, a preservation of capital is considered a very important thing indeed ah, would perhaps marry off their daughters to people that had well-otherwise not so much to recommend them provided it kept the vineyards and the estates and the hunting lodge all nicely together. Well the families I will not go into the names. Mr. ----has prepared a beautiful genealogical tree more complete than any as far as I know owned by any member of the Lautrec family and which will be published with that book but in any case there are numeral branches and _____, the only name that I shall mention is the name of his mother's family. Now the _____where people made money, a good deal of money in the 18th century that is still alright in France. If it's before the revolution you're alright. The people that you really don't have to give too much attention to is those to whom it came later. If it came after Napoleon, just won't do, so the ______ was a rather interesting family. They were much better stewards of their property and his mother undoubtedly had been raised in the very best principal, she was a devout catholic, she tried unsuccessfully to have her son be in her image and this was all the more important to her in that her marriage with her husband was a very unsatisfactory one. The father of whom I have spoken a moment ago and you have well understood that he couldn't be counted upon doing everything that he ought to have done in the eyes of a proper lady, very often wasn't there. He was hunting, he was attending to his affairs, they had a place in Paris, they had a place in Forest place near ________, they had at least four or five larger estates in the south. There was always something that called him away and I think after a while she wasn't even too sorry because she created so much of her ______, his son somewhere said there's one very good thing about my father, when you're with him nobody ever pays attention to anyone else. In one of the letters for example, Lautrec describes how in the street, his father was, the whole family I should introduce at this point, like animals very much so the father always took great interest in horses or things that he saw and so somewhere in the streets of Paris he saw an artillery man not treating a horse right, well quite forgetting whatever the purpose of his walk was, he stopped that artillery man, got into an argument, tried to show him how to do it and so on; so being the proper wife of such a man was not an easy thing. The education therefore of Lautrec as I said was in the hands of his mother and of various ladies of whom we shall hear a little more a little later. He had however in the early years, gotten a taste for the sports and even after his accidents for example, swimming was a thing that meant a great deal to him, there're all sorts of references about that; hunting, he had trained _______. I don't know how they do it, but I understand ______ can be trained to go fishing with you on the beaches. And he declared late in his life he declared to _____ that the event perhaps that had most disturbed him, the saddest event was when some fishermen I think or some pheasants fought and killed one of his ______, somewhere on the _______. Now this leads me to speak for one moment about the region; you see the Toulouse Lautrecs were like southern Americans, vey consciously southern. They did not want to be considered as _____. They were from a region north of Toulouse; RB is about an hour, an hour and something from Toulouse and all their affairs and all their estates were there from Toulouse towards _______. That is basically in the ______ the and Lautrec actually knew to speak the dialect very well and there are passages, a sentence here, a word there, a quotation here and there in Gascon which is not the same as _____ but very close. So these people moved on from one part of the family to another and had when they were in good health I think, an extremely good time, a very pretty country, it's not much of a tourist country, even now although it's very beautiful and one of these days it will no doubt will be discovered but hunting he did, as I said fishing and various other sports. What Lautrec however very quickly realized that is having this normal upper body, the stunted legs, having a rather big lips and rather heavy nose, he was basically what people would call a very ugly misshapen individual, a sort of, well although he came at five feet isn't it right, five feet. He was very conscious of that because a man with that eye with that aesthetic feeling can have no illusions about what he sees and Lautrec was an absolutely extraordinary eye. I don"t" think that in the history of Western Art there are many people, there are artists who have done things that Lautrec would not have done but I don't think that there many who had purely as an eye as perfect an eye and _____ is another one who had that. There are some but they are very great artists. ________ was not an eye in that sense but Lautrec saw everything extremely sharply even early drawings, which are not particularly distinguished when he was 13 and 14 but they show that a gift of observation of a very unusual dimension. Lautrec however by his upbringing, could not really reconcile himself easily to pose as an artist that is to play this role to the fullest. It is true other people in his family had done art; painted, drawn, even made figures and a grandmother of his said, well it's a good thing in my family when they kill an animal, they hunt it, they have several pleasures, first they hunt, then they draw it, then they eat it. Well not many families where you would, hunting families where you would hear this middle statement to apply and indeed his ______, his father, various other members drew, painted and he did much more than in a way its generally known for example, I once read a little book by _______ now a critic in which he says he had gone to _____ and he had found a baker who had told him that yes he remembered Lautrec and there come and made a bread in the shape of some animal, pig or something, and had it baked in ______ so this was all the time, this was always present, this making things and then you know using them, but what you see it gave Lautrec is he did not want to say "I" am going to be a great painter. First of all because he was modest as a person, but there was a certain _____ the family didn't like that, the fact had he stayed an amateur artist, they would have been reconciled, they couldn't reconcile themselves to the fact that he wanted to sell and have reviews so it was alright in the beginning let's say he would show in the ______ which was a sort of rather elegant club like you know, the cosmopolitan club or the century club but obviously there came a point when he grew better and they couldn't understand what he was really doing and there came a parting of the ways; but he was very conscious of it for example, he signs one letter at _____ that is sort of imitation artists, you know, fake wood artists. But as he grew older, he overcame this just as he paid less attention to his cousins, boy cousins, girl cousins so forth, he also grew more in different to what they said, but again the letters revealed, he says in one of them, I find it terribly annoying that they always make fun of my pursuits and he was right because they were doing absolutely nothing, most of them except losing money, he at least was not only creating his work, but he was even selling some of it, which is the very thing they disliked. But what at this point I would like to emphasize is his enormous devotion to his work. You have perhaps not seen ______ but lots of things that have been written even by good people sort of casually toss off these statements, you know he spent two years in the brothels. This is absolutely improbable and un-provable, and if anything is provable the opposite is rather more provable. I am not going to say that he didn't go to the brothels because obviously he went there he ____ and he undoubtedly spent nights there, but if he said also in another case I would like to find a woman who has a lover uglier than I am which, well is not the sort of statement that a man makes about himself out of a happy heart. He knew what was the case and he knew that indeed it wasn't very likely except for his money always titled that he could really get married and many of his friends after all these artist friends had gotten married. _______ married a theatrical actress and _______ married another painter and most of these people that he was with were married and quite happily married; this was not open to him. So indeed he frequented a great many places of amusement ____________ or the _________all sorts of dives and so forth but he frequented them for various reasons, first of all, like the good reporter that he tried to be, the scene that interested him, the picture of that world in which he lived, the faces, just like he would go to the theater, see the same play seven eight days in a row, to see the certain movement that _______ or _______ the way she moved her elbow around and lifted her hand and so forth, which inspired him as a thing and which then he rendered in ______ and I think outside when you come outside you will see some of these things, the telling gesture but also this devotion of his work is expressed in starting it again and again. There are letters for example where it says well, I have this drawing to do for the figure hole but _____ tells me one shouldn't send except the very best and it is right and I will start it again and while it is hard I will do it; and you see when they tell me he lived in the brothels then you wonder how is it possible that the _____ catalog which the ______ had prepared and which is not published at the time of his death numbered seven thousand items. Now picture yourself, he did not become consciously an artist until he was about 19 or 20 that is until 1884 and he seized really 1900 a few months before his death. So you see that's a period of only 16 or 17 years and an ______ of seven thousand items plus all those that he tore up that's enormous and what I would like to remind you of at this point, posters in 1895 were an in thing. Ah, we cannot imagine any way because today you know you come to grand central station and there is a Kodak sign spread across the big hall, colored posters are everywhere but the color poster is an invention of the 1880s up to that time posters had been in black and white and _____ was the man who sort of created the color poster the way we know it now. Now when Lautrec got into this, no really great artist had ever concerned himself _____ had done one poster but that was a completely new field and it caught the imagination of Western Europe absolutely by storm; people collected posters, there were poster exhibitions all over Europe, there were books written, there is a very interesting book by a man called Hyatt called a picture poster which I think came out 1895, 1896 something like that and so he gained his first fame, real fame in that way, and he says in his letters to his mother, tomorrow they are pinning, they are pinning up on the holdings well I don't know, __________ is that the way it's called, is that the way it's called? Yep? And so forth, I think this will go over well. He, he realized that he was really sort of a, liking of the imagination and I have once _____ as a dealer, a collection of a French collector who had made a contract with these different, am I the cause of this? Who had made a contract with these printers who would send them the new posters rolled in tubes, mailing tubes and so you would all have them absolutely mint intact and the rolls with the stamps outside, now I don't think you could really do that today. I don't think anybody would make such a contract with you but then that was sort of an in thing to do right, those were the good years, but psychological problems like the ones that I've outlined before. They are apt to get graver as you grow a little older. He saw these people you know having children, move to the country, you know do all the things and his health undoubtedly due to the fact that his mother also took undoubtedly less care of him and he was in great need having no wife, having no ______ first for a few years, he lived with a doctor a very old friend of his a Dr. Boze but then Boze married, and he also be moans that fact. He says it was too good to last; see there was a man who sort of knew all his quirks who was willing to play along. The son of Dr. Boze is still alive and I went to see him in _______ and he has a little notebook, he has very little left but he has a little notebook and there they have written down you know so much for the beef, so much for the vegetables and so on and in between it says _____ you know, Japanese art of _____ and so on, then they split it up what each really owed the other at the end of the month but that came to an end and he was more and more in the bars and the bars were perhaps of less and less reputable sort and she got friendly with a man called Calumez who rented out horses calves and had some calves who was a great drunkard himself and it finally became so bad that as the beginning of 1899 came around, he was getting irascible which he hadn't been, distrustful which he hadn't been and sick in a way really sick, you know, yellow expressions on his looks even say that as he left his _____ male nurses jumped on him and took him away. This obviously is an impossibility, by the laws of the French Republic, by what right could they do that, he wasn't attacking anybody, the fact that he got drunk, well I mean there were plenty of people getting drunk and perhaps a little more than was good for them; he paid his rent and if he didn't pay it, his mother paid it, so it had to be we always suspected that with his consent and indeed the documents that we have found, that Mr. ______ has, show that male nurses were appointed to him while he was still around early in 1899. And then one day and this is really sort of the chapter in which I am going to conclude, when I was with Mr. _____, they said, oh yes you know we have found something, we have found a bag with mail of 1899, we've never opened that again and you see as I said before _______ had inherited the ______; so indeed there was the furniture from there left, this was undoubtedly the mother had undoubtedly kept all these perhaps to justify herself later on. Well when we took these letters out in Toulouse in Mr. the late _________'s apartment I just didn't believe my eyes. There were letters, day by day written by a domestic, a woman called ______ who the countess, the mother of Lautrec had placed with her son to write to her in RB every day, there is no other painter in which we own anything comparable. These letters they are about thirty describe step by step how Lautrec by ship over drinking got into a state that you might call dementia, that is he would rub his paintings with glycerin and he would start fires with newspapers in the toilet bowl, and do all sorts of weird things he would go out in one night he spent a thousand francs on knick knacks, gadgets, things. Now a thousand francs it was five hundred gold dollars at a time when two francs the mother should come back, this is not a situation to let the wine merchant and the hackney cab man take care of Lautrec and obviously many of the relatives didn't come any more because he threw them out perhaps if he was in that mood and he thought they would send as spies. Anyway, he then accepted at one point, one male nurse, that one left, another one, _____ actually has the documents appointing these nurses of whom nobody so far had ever talked and then at a date we cannot precisely pin down but within ten days we can say he went to a house with a sanatorium, where a cure, very successful cure was made on him, but you see although he regained his health in a way, he ceased to be irascible, he was very good again, he drew from memory that famous set of drawings called at the circus or "silk" which he did with children's crayons and cheap children's pastels to prove that from memory he could draw these animals as beautifully as only Chinese artist before that had drawn animals. You know from the inside out, not as an outsider looking at an animal but really you know these horses and these, _______ whatever he did they are the animals to speak, manifesting themselves on a page well, they let him go but he considered himself a broken person. We have one letter in which he signs "the prisoner" because a family obviously with that background to be forced to do what you don't want to do that was the unforgivable thing. The father it is true, took very little interest in this, he wasn't more confined to him that wasn't his way but he also didn't prevent it, so basically what we can now say is the mother induced these male nurses to sort of talking him into going, and taking this cure which in a way he knew ruined him. He came out in the spring of 1899 and by the summer of 1901 he was dead, and that I mean in a way, I have left out a great many things but that in a way is sort of a picture I've tried to give you a fuse vignette on what we learn, what we see, but I think that if we had more time one could go into all these elements much more lengthily and for example I had before I started I thought I'd speak a little bit about _______ and Lautrec and so forth, but each of these things obviously in order to develop all it takes a little time, but I think you will see that this was a man who was not just a great artist, an extremely interesting and complex human being. Thank you very much Mr. ______, it's my pleasure to be able invite you to meet in the prep room with Mr. Goldston and Mr. _____. Mr. _____ has dropped down a _____ works from his collection and we're going to _____. Um, I think the prep room can only comfortably accommodate maybe twenty people at a time so perhaps some of you could come in and others look at the exhibition and then sort of change around.
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