Toulouse-Lautrec and the Origins of the Modern Poster
Coordination: Carlos Pérez, curator of MuVIM and Francesc Quílez, main curator of Gabinet de Dibuixos i Gravats del MNAC.
Organisation: Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC). in collaboration with Fundación Carlos de Amberes, the Musée d'Ixelles and the Museu Valencià de la Il·lustració i la Modernitat (MuVIM).
The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya is hosting this travelling exhibition, which is geared to showing the part of the body of work of the versatile Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) focusing on poster art. The monographic display features all the artist's posters kept by the Musée d'Ixelles in Brussels, plus the work May Belfort, which belongs to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.
Toulouse-Lautrec became interested in the phenomenon of advertising poster art at a late stage in his creative career. In fact, what little activity he undertook as a poster artist, accounting for just over 30 works, was carried out in the decade of the 1890s. However, that low level of productivity does not limit the scope of a bold, original aesthetic concept that entailed a change of direction in the context of the poster design work of the era. The repertoire of Toulouse-Lautrec includes countless great achievements that place him among European poster art's most skilled representatives. The artist's main contributions to the renovation of this genre of art include one of his most outstanding successes, namely his insistence on breaking away from the compositional formulae, trends and conventions characteristic of art nouveau. While he did incorporate some of the distinctive aspects of this turn-of-the-century style, Toulouse-Lautrec had a very open-minded attitude as regards adopting compositional solutions from other figurative cultures and traditions, the most notable of which was the influence of the Japanese print.
The public image of Rome
Roman rulers considered coins an ideal means to disseminate the public image of the Roman state, thereby furthering its interests. This exhibition presents a selection of coins from the Numismatic Cabinet of Catalonia, housed at MNAC, that reveals the evolution of the iconographic message of Roman coinage from the very first issues, dating back to the third century BC, to those of the fourth century AD. These coins are displayed in conjunction with luxury objects from the Roman age acquired by the Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya, objects used in connection with the domestic, religious and military life of the Roman aristocracy.