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March 1, 1965

Lautrec by Lautrec

JAMA. 1965;191(9):772. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080090086045

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec has become a legendary personage. Some biographers have suggested that he led a dissolute immoral life; a motion picture depicting Lautrec's life also intimated that he possessed a grotesque malady.

These legends receive little support in Lautrec by Lautrec, which avowedly aims to show that the painter was not a monster. From the wealth of previously unpublished material including many of the painter's own letters, the coauthors have drawn much of the content of their volume. They succeed in creating a bond of sympathy for the painter which extends beyond appreciation of his art. Lautrec is seen a man, with man's frailties which yet are balanced by compassion, humor and wit, and lack of self-pity. The tone is restrained and dispassionate, and the effect convincing.

The book is organized chronologically. Medical aspects of Lautrec's life are not clarified. Indeed, no real effort is made to explain the

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