Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, La troupe de Mlle Eglantine, 1896, 61.7 x 78.9 cm, Lithograph in brush, chalk and crachis. Photo © Musée d'Ixelles-Bruxelles / Courtesy of Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Featuring around 100 posters, this blockbuster show brings bohemian Montmartre to Bath

From troupes of cancan dancers to the legendary 'Chat Noir,' and the unforgettable characters of the Moulin Rouge, Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre will feature 100 original posters from 1890s bohemian Paris in a fresh look at this era of artistic fervour and social revolution. This is the only chance to see Lautrec’s complete collection of posters exhibited together in the UK before it moves to its permanent home at the Musée d’Ixelles in Belgium, following a five-year international tour. The exhibition will open at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath on 26 April.

With bright colours and bold lines, Lautrec's striking artwork captured the essence of turn-of-the-century Parisian nightlife. More than 30 pieces from his esteemed career, including his first poster of the Moulin Rouge, and the cancan dancers of La Troupe de Mademoiselle Eglantine will be shown alongside works by other celebrated artists of the day. Steinlen’s iconic Tournée du Chat Noir, an advert for Ruinart champagne by Alphonse Mucha, and theatre posters by Jules Cheret will feature with eye-catching work by other masters of Belle Époque Paris. The exhibition will explore the contrast of the vibrancy of these artworks with the backdrop of a city recovering from war and rebellion.

Councillor Paul Roper, Cabinet Member for Economic & Cultural Sustainable Development, said: “It’s a joy to host this major exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery, and a ringing endorsement of Bath as a must-visit cultural destination. Lautrec’s artworks are instantly recognisable, evoking the heady atmosphere of bohemian Paris, and we’re proud to be able to bring these internationally acclaimed artworks to Bath.”

Creative family trails and activities will bring the artwork to life for younger art lovers, and there will be hands-on craft activities during May half-term and the school summer holidays. For students and adults, a French language activity trail will add to the Parisienne experience, and lunchtime tours every Thursday from 1.30-2pm (free with an exhibition ticket) will offer an in-depth look at the artworks.

On Friday 17 May, the Gallery will stay open from 6pm to 9pm for Bath Festival’s Party in the City, with live music and free entry for the night.

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre: 26 April - 29 September 2024

Venue: Victoria Art Gallery Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AT

Further Information: Victoria Art Gallery (