France - - History Trail -

1 Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi

Housed in the 13th-cen­tury Palais de la Ber­bie, for­merly the Bish­ops’ Palace, the Musée Toulouse-lautrec of­fers a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight into the life of Albi’s most fa­mous son. The mu­seum has more than 1,000 of his works – the largest col­lec­tion in France out­side the Musée d’or­say – rang­ing from early neo-im­pres­sion­ist works to his poster art. Works of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in­clude early por­traits of rel­a­tives in­clud­ing his mother, Comtesse Adèle de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Les Deux Amies, which de­picts two pros­ti­tutes wait­ing for their clients. Tel: (Fr) 5 63 49 48 70 musee­toulouse­

2 Château du Bosc, Cam­jac, Avey­ron

This richly fur­nished me­dieval château was once the coun­try retreat of the Toulouse-Lautrec fam­ily. The prop­erty fea­tures me­men­toes of the artist’s child­hood, in­clud­ing in­ti­mate de­tails such as the marks on a wall where Henri’s height was recorded. The château also has a per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion of post­cards re­trac­ing the artist’s life. Open all year (ad­vance book­ing only, Nov-mar). Tel: (Fr) 5 65 69 20 83 chateaudu­

3 Musée d’or­say, Paris

Af­ter a ca­reer span­ning less than 20 years, the artist left be­hind around 900 paint­ings, more than 350 prints and 5,000 draw­ings, many of which are on dis­play in the Musée d’or­say. For ex­am­ple, La femme aux gants ( pic­tured) de­picts a beau­ti­ful woman named Honorine Platzer pos­ing in a garden in Mont­martre. In this por­trait, with its dis­tinct use of colour splashed with sun­light, Toulouse-lautrec comes clos­est to the work of the Im­pres­sion­ists. Tel: (Fr) 1 40 49 48 14 musee-or­

4 Brasserie Toulouse-lautrec, Ken­ning­ton, Lon­don

This wine bar, brasserie and jazz club brims with the bo­hemian charm of by­gone Paris. Run by French broth­ers Nolan and Florent, the restau­rant is dec­o­rated with replica prints and paint­ings by Toulouse-lautrec, and serves rus­tic French fare. Mains from £16. Tel: 0207 582 6800 toulouse­





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