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Toulouse-Lautrec lived the turn-of-the-century bohemian scene on Paris’ Montmartre Hill, he captured it, and he shared it with paintings that seemed full of empathy and insight.

Complete Video Script

[88] Atop Paris' Montmartre hill — crowned by the dramatic Sacré-Cœur church — bohemians and free spirits could literally look down on the stuffy, bourgeois values of Paris. Since the days of Renoir, artists gathered here for the low rent, rustic ambience, and to stoke each other's non-conformity…to live carefree lives, with a hint of decadence…and watch can-can girls kick up their heels.

[89, Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864–1901] Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec captured the turn-of-the-century scene. Crippled from youth, Toulouse-Lautrec felt most at home among fellow outcasts: the women of the brothels he frequented, and the performers of the notorious/extravagant and titillating/decadent/naughty Moulin Rouge nightclub. He gave them a dignity denied them by society…like this aristocratic-looking dancer….weary of the nightlife yet unable to escape it.

[90] Predictably, Toulouse-Lautrec died young. But, with his unabashed realism — candid subjects, spontaneous snapshots…like dashed-off sketches in paint — he had documented this golden age of artistic rebellion.