Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: At the Circus Fernando: The Ringmaster (1887-88)

Circus Fernando Ringmaster Henri de Toulouse Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: At the Circus Fernando: The Ringmaster (1887-88) 

The circus has been a source of creative expression for many artists.  Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a late 19th century Post-Impressionist painter, used can-can girls, acrobats and circus life as subject matter for several studies. This choice of subject matter allowed him to capture facial expression and perspective that offered an investigation into our grotesque and awkward nature.  At the Circus Fernando: The Ringmaster (1888) Toulouse-Lautrec rendered a painting that examined human-animal relationship. The gnarled facial expression of the ringmaster makes the viewer speculate on the extension of his whip; to the pointed stare of the acrobat riding side saddle and to the horse with head down galloping to please.

We may ask:  How are we the circus leader?  The acrobat? What is our relationship to animal? Of where are we the center of our circus?

At the Circus Fernando: The Ringmaster (1887-88) is part of a permanent collection at The Art Institute of Chicago.

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Categories: Art, Education, People Planet

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