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Published on Jan 31, 2011
Henri-Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, was born on November 24th 1864 at Albi, to one of the oldest families of the provincial nobility. His mother, Adèle Tapié de Celeyran, married her cousin Alphonse, count of Toulouse-Lautrec, a brilliant horseman with a passion for the hunt and horses, like all his line.
Henri grew up between the Château du Bosc, situated to the North of Albi in the Rouergue and the Château de Céleyran, near Narbonne.
The year 1878 was marked by an accident which happened in the living room of the house where he was born: rising from a low chair Henri slipped and broke his left femur; a year later he fractured the other leg after a slight fall. Lautrec suffered from a hereditary disease of the bones probably due to his parents close blood relation. It was to have a decisive effect on the young man's destiny. Immobilised for months on end, he filled his days with drawing, then painting, developing a taste which was widely followed in his entourage, and a gift which he had shown when very young, and which was to become his vocation.
A favourite theme was the horse, which appeared in equestrian scenes, military manoeuvres and horse-drawn carriages. Naturalist subjects include his portraits of farm labourers and paintings showing horses in the stable and draught horses.
In Paris he showed his fascination for the eternal womanhood.
Vincent van Gogh and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec were friends in Paris.