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Joie de Vivre

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From the February 2014 edition

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and a merry band of Parisian artists at the Columbus Museum of Art

Just 20 years after the Impressionists upended the art establishment with their radical methods, a new group emerged with work even more shocking and subversive than their predecessors. The artists of Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910, which opens Feb. 7 at the Columbus Museum of Art, celebrated the bohemian life of Paris during the Belle Epoque (“Beautiful Era”). Henri Toulouse-Lautrec was the unofficial ringleader of this gang of misfit artists; 97 of them are represented in the show, in paintings, posters, drawings and even cabaret shadow puppets. Toulouse-Lautrec, who suffered lifelong illnesses, found kindred spirits among the seedy dancers and drinkers of Paris’ Montmartre neighborhood, home to the famous Moulin Rouge, says CMA curator Dominique Vasseur. These are the characters who leap from the canvases and pages of La Vie Moderne, creating a rich portrait of the Paris we think of today. columbusmuseum.org