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Henri Toulouse-Lautrec's Circus Drawings

The circus was one of the great spectacles of late-nineteenth-century Paris, combining extraordinary acrobatic feats, amusing trained animals, and outlandish clowns. This chaotic and colorful world attracted many artists including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Georges Seurat, and Pierre Bonnard. Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the circus's most enthusiastic observers and during the late 1880s, a frequent visitor to the Cirque Fernando in the neighborhood of Montmartre in Paris. He represented ringmasters and clowns, dancers and riders, horses, dogs, and monkeys, scenes of comedy and of skill.
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