Vintage 1974 full color art plate (8 1/4" x 10 1/4") hand tipped onto vintage black paper (9" x 10 5/8") and affixed to chipboard backing for maximum ease in styling, propping, or framing.

Toulouse-Lautrec has been described by many of the artists, poets, novelists, and entertainers whose paths he crossed during his brief life. His appearance was unforgettable and caused him to be called everything from a "Velázquez dwarf" to a "hunchbacked Don Juan."

Lautrec's first teachers were the best animal painters of the day-René Princeteau and John Lewis Brown. He quickly revealed his aptitude with pencil and brush, and was enrolled in the studio of

L. Bonnat, a successful and fashionable academic painter of the time. There Lautrec ran into criticism, for Bonnat approved of his painting but thought his drawing "simply atrocious!"

But it was Montmartre that really instructed and molded Lautrec. And nowhere in the realm of art does this animated district of Paris come so truly to life as in his paintings and his lithographs (these include posters, song-sheet covers, and book illustrations). He felt at home in this atmosphere; he liked and understood its inhabitants. He set them down in grease crayon and paint, and rendered many of them immortal: Yvette Guilbert, Valentin, Jane Avril, May Belfort, La Goulue, the clown Footit, and a host of others.

Aux Ambassadeurs, one of Lautrec's major color lithographs, was issued in a small edition of only one hundred prints, signed by the artist. We reproduce here an almost unique proof print of an early state.

The influence of Japanese prints is stronger here than in most other graphic works of the period. Lautrec and Mary Cassatt, in her color aquatints, came closest to comprehending the unique character of the Oriental wood-block print, and they successfully translated it into the idiom of their time and their individual personalities.