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This account of Toulouse-Lautrec strips away the mythology to look afresh at his achievements both as a graphic artist and a painter. It revitalizes and adds depth to the well-known images, while a wealth of contemporary material (correspondence, reviews, anecdotes and reminiscences) sheds new light on the challenges that faced the artist. Bernard Denvir examines all the major influences on his life and work: the eccentricities and instabilities of his aristocratic background; the indignities of his handicaps; his education and artistic training; the theatres, bars, cafes and brothels to which he increasingly gravitated; and the political and social unease of late nineteenth-century France. 170 illus., 31 in color.