HM Queen Elizabeth II

imageHistory will be made 9 September 2015 when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning British Monarch in 1,000 years of British history passing Queen Victoria reign of 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes. The longest-ever ruler was King Sobhuza II of Swaziland, at 82 years and 253 days. The Queen overtook Victoria’s reign of 63 years and 216 days, and ranks 48th in the league table of longest verifiable rulers. Bernard “the Bellicose”, more formally known as Bernard VII of Lippe, enjoyed 81 years and 234 days, dominated by bloody feuds, as head of his sovereign state, created within the Holy Roman empire in central Europe. The longest-ever ruling European nobleman, he died in 1511. The longest reign of any monarch of a large country in European history belongs to Louis XIV of France – or Louis the Great, or, indeed, the Sun King. His reign of 72 years and 110 days, from 1643 to 1715. The only living monarch to out-reign the Queen is Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX) of Thailand, who at 87 is two years younger than her. Bhagvat Singh Sahib, ruled for 74 years and 87 days as maharaja of Gondal state in India. Only one woman outranks the Queen now that she has surpassed Victoria. The formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the wealthiest, most powerful and, therefore, most eligible women in western Europe in the middle ages, is 34th. Technically, Eleanor of Aquitaine was not a monarch, but as duchess of Aquitaine, in France, she ruled for 67 years. She married Louis VII of France but 15 years later, in 1152, having produced two daughters but no son, the marriage was annulled. Within weeks, she married the duke of Normandy, later Henry II. Franz Joseph I, emperor of Austria, and king of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, ruled from 1848 until 1916 and is placed 32nd.

bunting2On Wednesday 9 September HM Queen Elizabeth II And HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, travelled in their Pegasus Pullman royal carriage behind A4 Pacific 60009 Union of South Africa with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Retired train driver and fireman Walter Bell, 88, from Edinburgh Waverley for the Royal Opening of the new Borders Railway line between Tweedbank and Edinburgh Waverly.

The line was rebuilt at a cost of £294m, after the old Waverley Line through the region was shut in 1969 by Dr Beeching. Afterwards The Queen returned to Balmoral to dine with Prince William and Kate who are visiting her Highlands retreat with their children George, two and Charlotte, four months. Elsewhere Tower Bridge also lifted in tribute to the Queen as the royal rowbarge Gloriana led a flotilla of boats down the River Thames and The bells of Westminster Abbey where the Queen was married and crowned also sounded out and London’s BT Tower began scrolling the message “Long May She Reign”.

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Queen Elizabeth II Was born 21st April 1926 and is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms, and head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations. In her specific role as the monarch of the UnitedKingdom, one of her 16 realms, she is also Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Elizabeth was born in London, and educated privately at home. Her father acceded to the throne as George VI in 1936 on the abdication of his brother Edward VIII and She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, and also served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. On the death of her father in 1952, she became Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Her coronation service in 1953 was the first to be televised. Between 1956 and 1992, many territories gained independence or became republics. Today, Elizabeth is Queen of Jamaica,Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 1947 she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with whom she has four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. and Her reign of 60 years is the second-longest for a British monarch; only Queen Victoria has reigned longer. Her Silver and Golden Jubilees were celebrated in 1977 and 2002; her Diamond Jubilee was celebrated 2012.

Elizabeth was the first child of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), and his wife, Elizabeth. Her father was the second son of King George V and Queen Mary, and her mother was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Elizabeth’s only sibling was Princess Margaret, born in 1930. As a granddaughter of the monarch in the male line, Elizabeth’s full style at birth was Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York. She was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle, Edward, Prince of Wales, and her father. In 1936, when her grandfather, George V, died and her uncle Edward succeeded, she became second in line to the throne after her father. Later that year, Edward abdicated after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth’s father became king, and she became heiress presumptive, with the style Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth. In 1943, at the age of 16, Elizabeth undertook her first solo public appearance on a visit to the Grenadier Guards, of which she had been appointed Colonel-in-Chief the previous year. As she approached her 18th birthday, the law was changed so that she could act as one of five Counsellors of State in the event of her father’s incapacity or absence abroad,

At the end of World war II in Europe, on Victory in Europe Day, Elizabeth and her sister mingled anonymously with the celebratory crowds in the streets of London. She later said in a rare interview, “we asked my parents if we could go out and see for ourselves. I remember we were terrified of being recognised … I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief.”Two years later, the princess made her first overseas tour, when she accompanied her parents through southern Africa. During the tour, in a broadcast to the British Commonwealth on her 21st birthday, she pledged: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

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Elizabeth met her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in 1934 and 1937. After another meeting at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Elizabeth – though only 13 years old – fell in love with Philip, and they began to exchange letters.They married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. They are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria. Before the marriage, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism, and adopted the style Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, taking the surname of his mother’s British family. Just before the wedding, he was created Duke of Edinburgh and granted the style of His Royal Highness. Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Prince Charles, on 14 November 1948, A second child, Princess Anne, was born in 1950, Princes Andrew was born in in 1959 and Edward in 1963.

During 1952 her Father King George VI’s health unfortunately declined, and Elizabeth was soon frequently standing in for him at public events. In October of that year, she toured Canada, and visited President Truman in Washington, D.C. And on the trip, her private secretary, Martin Charteris, carried a draft accession declaration for use if the King died while she was on tour. In early 1952, Elizabeth and Philip set out for a tour of Australia and New Zealand by way of Kenya. On 6 February 1952, they had just returned to their Kenyan home, Sagana Lodge, after a night spent at Treetops Hotel, when word arrived of the death of Elizabeth’s father. Philip broke the news to the new queen. Martin Charteris asked her to choose a regal name; she chose to remain Elizabeth, “of course”. She was proclaimed queen throughout her realms, and the royal party hastily returned to the United Kingdom. She and the Duke of Edinburgh moved into Buckingham Palace.With Elizabeth’s accession it seemed likely that the royal house would bear her husband’s name. Lord Mountbatten thought it would be the House of Mountbatten, as Elizabeth would typically have taken Philip’s last name on marriage; however Elizabeth’s grandmother Queen Mary and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill favoured the retention of the House of Windsor.

Despite the death of Queen Mary ten weeks before, the coronation went ahead on 2 June 1953. Before she died, Mary had asked that the coronation not be delayed. The ceremony in Westminster Abbey, except the anointing and communion, was televised for the first time, and the coverage was instrumental in boosting the medium’s popularity; the number of television licences in the United Kingdom doubled to 3 million. Elizabeth’s pregnancies with Princes Andrew and Edward in 1959 and 1963, respectively, mark the only times she has not performed the State Opening of the British parliament during her reign. In addition to performing traditional ceremonies, she also instituted new practices such as the Royal Walkabout.

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Her first royal walkabout, meeting ordinary members of the public, took place during a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970. In 1977, Elizabeth marked the Silver Jubilee of her accession. Many street parties and other events were held to mark the occasion (I used to have a commemorative mug) Many of which coincided with the Queens Associated National and Commonwealth tours and These celebrations re-affirmed the Queen’s ongoing popularity She again undertook an extensive tour of her realms, which began in Jamaica in February, As in 1977, there were many street parties and commemorative events, and monuments bult to honour the occasion. A million people attended each day of the three-day main Jubilee celebration in London, and the enthusiasm shown by the public for Elizabeth again re-affirmed her ongoing popularity.

In 2002, Elizabeth marked her Golden Jubilee as queen. Sadly though both Her sister Princess Margaret and mother died in February and March 2002. On 20 March 2008 the Queen also attended the first Maundy service held outside of England and Wales -t the Church of Ireland St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, at the invitation of Irish President Mary McAleese, in May 2011 the Queen made the first state visit to the Republic of Ireland by a British monarch. Elizabeth addressed the United Nations for a second time in 2010, again in her capacity as queen of all her realms and Head of the Commonwealth. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon introduced her as “an anchor for ourage”. During her visit to New York, which followed a tour of Canada, she officially opened a memorial garden n remembrance of the British victims who perished during the September 11th attacks on The World Trade Centre.

The Queen visited Australia again in October 2011, her 16th visit since 1954. In 2012 HM Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years as Queen. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, and the second-longest-serving current head of state (after King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand). She does not intend to abdicate, though the proportion of public duties performed by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall or Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge may increase as Elizabeth reduces her commitments. She also opened the 2012 Summer Olympics on 27 July 2012 and the Paralympics on 29 August in London. Her father, George VI, opened the 1948 London Olympics, and her great-grandfather, Edward VII, opened the 1908 London Olympics. Elizabeth also opened the 1976 Games in Canada, and Prince Philip opened the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

During her life Queen Elizabeth has held many titles and has witnessed the ongoing transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of Nations. She became the first reigning British Monarch to visit Australia and New Zealand Since then Elizabeth has undertaken state visits to foreign countries, and tours of Commonwealth ones.

Otis Redding

American singer and songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout Otis Ray Redding, Jr. was born September 9, 1941. Raised in Georgia, United States, Redding left school at age 15 to support his family by working with Little Richard’s backing band, the Upsetters and by performing at talent shows for prize money. In 1958, he joined Johnny Jenkins’ band, the Pinetoppers, and toured the Southern United States as driver and musician. An unscheduled appearance on a Stax recording session led to a contract and his first single, “These Arms of Mine”, in 1962. Stax released Redding’s debut album, Pain in My Heart, two years later. Initially popular mainly with African Americans, Redding later reached the broader American popular music audience. He and his group first played small gigs in the South, then played for the first time in the western United States, at the Whisky a Go Go. Redding later performed in Paris, London and other European cities.

Sadly though Redding was tragically killed in a plane crash on December 10 1967, however (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 andR&B charts after his death in a plane crash. The Dock of the Bay also became the first posthumous album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart. His premature death devastated Stax, already on the verge of bankruptcy. The label soon discovered that Atlantic Records owned the rights to Redding’s entire catalog.

Redding is still considered one of the greatest singers in popular music and a major artist in soul music and rhythm and blues. His singing style has been influential among the soul artists of 1960s and helped exemplify the Stax Sound. After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, he wrote and recorded “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper. He also received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific “King of Soul”. In addition to “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Respect” and “Try a Little Tenderness” are among his most well-known songs.

David A.Stewart (The Eurythmics)

Best known for his work with Eurythmics the English musician, songwriter and record producer David Allan “Dave” Stewart was born 9 September 1952. in Sunderland, England. In 1971, whilst still in his teens, he secured a record deal as part of folk-rock band Longdancer.  He also collaborated with Brian Harrison to produce an EP on the Sunderland Multicord label , recording two songs (Girl and Green She Said) from a school musical production written by teacher Dick Bradshaw, one traditional number (A Blacksmith Courted Me) and a song written by Dave and Brian (Deep December). After leaving Wearside Stewart then spent several years living in squats in London. In late 1976, he was introduced to Annie Lennox by Paul Jacobs. Soon, Stewart and Lennox became romantically involved. By 1977, the pair had teamed up with Sunderland musician Peet Coombes, releasing a single on Logo Records as The Catch. The band then developed into The Tourists who enjoyed modest success, including a hit in 1979 with a cover of the Dusty Springfield hit “I Only Want to Be with You”. However the Tourists split up in 1980, as did Stewart and Lennox, though the pair continued to work together. They formed a new musical project named Eurythmics, and went on to be one of the most successful pop-rock duos of all time. After a string of hit singles and albums, the duo split in 1990, but reunited in 1999 for the album Peace and another world tour. Lennox and Stewart worked together again in 2005, recording two new tracks for the greatest hits package Ultimate Collection, released to coincide with Eurythmics’ 25th anniversary.

After the Eurythmics dissolved in 1990, Stewart moved to France and immediately released an album with his new band The Spiritual Cowboys. A second album followed in 1991. Both albums were Gold in France, where Stewart concentrated his efforts.In 1992, Stewart collaborated with singer Terry Hall (formerly of The Specials, The Fun Boy Three and The Colourfield) on the projectVegas. The duo released one self-titled album but this was commercially unsuccessful, though one of the singles from the album (“Possessed”) made the UK Top 40.In 1993, Stewart appeared in an Apple Inc. advertisement for the Power Macintosh in which he riffed on the word “power”. He also had a small cameo as a computer hacker in the 1995 film Hackers.In 1994, Stewart released a solo album, Greetings from the Gutter. The album was not a commercial success, though Stewart scored a minor UK hit with the single “Heart Of Stone” which reached number 36. He then released another album, Sly-Fi, first on the internet.In 1997, Stewart released an album Come Alive with the actress and singer Rhona Mitra. In 1999, he produced an second album,Female Icon.In November 2002, Stewart worked with former South African president Nelson Mandela. Stewart came up with the idea of turning Mandela’s prison number into a telephone number then wrote and recorded songs with Paul McCartney, Bono and Edge which you could only hear if you dialled this number.

He then began organising the 46664 campaign and series of concerts in the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa and in 2007, Stewart unveiled an initiative called “Greenpeace Works”, which he labelled as a “think tank” to dream up ways celebrities and Greenpeace can work together on green issues. On the project, The Dave Stewart Songbook, he wrote a large coffee table size book full of stories and photographs and also re-recorded 21 hit songs which have been co-written or co-produced by him during the past decades and were originally released by artists such as Jon Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Bob Geldof, Shakespears Sister, No Doubt, Bryan Ferry, Tom Petty and Eurythmics. Also included is the song “American Prayer” written by Stewart with Bono of U2. In 2008 Stewart  released a new solo track, Let’s Do It Again, and in 2010, Stewart recorded his first solo album of new material since 1998’s Sly-Fi. Entitled The Blackbird Diaries, it was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, and includes duets with Stevie Nicks, Martina McBride, Colbie Caillat and The Secret Sisters. Stewart has made a film of the making of the album and also filmed a live concert in Nashville at The Belcourt Theatre on 9 December 2010

Stewart produced or co-produced all of Eurythmics’ albums and, once the band became established, he also became a producer of other artists. In 1985, as well as producing Eurythmics’ hit album Be Yourself Tonight, Stewart co-produced the album Southern Accents for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as co-writing several songs for the album including the hit “Don’t Come Around Here No More”. The same year, Stewart also produced the debut solo album by Feargal Sharkey, which included the UK number one hit “A Good Heart”. Due to these accomplishments, Stewart won “Best Producer” at the 1986 BRIT Awards in London.Stewart would go on to write and produce for a variety of other artists throughout the years. In 1986, he collaborated with Bob Geldof on tracks for his debut solo album Deep in the Heart of Nowhere. Working together, the duo named themselves “The Brothers of Doom”. Stewart also co-wrote and co-produced several tracks for Mick Jagger’s 1987 album Primitive Cool.

He co-wrote the Shakespears Sister hit single “Stay”.   Along with his then-wife, Siobhan Fahey,  Under the pseudonym “Jean Guiot”), as well as several other tracks for their second and third albums .In 1996, Stewart produced the debut album by Alisha’s Attic, Alisha Rules the World.In 1997, Stewart co-produced the album Destination Anywhere for Jon Bon Jovi, as well as co-writing several tracks.Stewart collaborated with Bryan Ferry on his 2002 album Frantic, co-writing several tracks and co-producing one of them. He also co-wrote “Friend or Foe” for the Russian pop duo t.A.T.u., which is on their 2005 album Dangerous and Moving .In 2008, Stewart was brought in by Ringo Starr to produce his album Liverpool 8, after Starr dismissed the album’s original producer, Mark Hudson. Hudson’s work on some tracks earned both Stewart and Hudson credits as co-producers (along with Starr himself) .In 2010, Stewart announced on his Twitter account he was co-writing and producing the new studio album by Stevie Nicks. The album, entitled In Your Dreams, was co-produced by Glen Ballard and released in May 2011. In 2011, Stewart produced an album for Joss Stone and released a new song called “Leap of faith” in collaboration with Greek superstar Anna Vissi. Stewart also produced Fire EP for artist Orianthi. He has also worked occasionally with American ska-punk band No Doubt, co-writing “Underneath It All” for their 2001 release Rock Steady and “Sparkle” for their 2012 release Push and Shove. In 2011 Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones formed a new supergroup called Super Heavy which includes Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and A.R. Rahman. In 2012 Stewart released his new album The Ringmaster..

He has also written a few film scores and co-wrote the theme song for the 1986 comedy Ruthless People with Mick Jagger and Daryl Hall. Stewart took a greater involvement in the film industry in 1989 by writing and producing the soundtrack Lily Was Here for the Dutch film De Kassière. The single of the same name, featuring saxophone player Candy Dulfer, topped the Dutch charts for five weeks. The single also reached the UK Top 10 and peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1990.Though he had previously directed music videos, he made his feature film directorial debut in 2000 with Honest, a black comedy set in London in the late 1960s featuring three members of the British girl group All Saints. Stewart also performed the song Everybody, All Over The World (Join The Celebration) for the 2004 remake of the film Around the World in 80 Days.  Stewart, in conjunction with his brother John J. Stewart of Oil Factory Productions, and in collaboration with music critic and author Robert Palmer and documentary filmmaker Robert Mugge made a documentary dealing with Delta Blues music. Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads, which was filmed in Memphis, Tennessee and various north Mississippi counties. Stewart was also the main interviewer for the HBO series Off the Record, which highlighted songwriting and features prominent musicians. The pilot aired on HBO on 24 November 2006 and featured Bono and The Edge from U2. He collaborated with Mick Jagger to record songs which appear on the soundtrack to the movie Alfie, released in 2004. The soundtrack includes the critically acclaimed song “Old Habits Die Hard”, which won a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture.In 2012, together with Rosemary Reed, Stewart was the executive co-producer of Living The Life series on Sky Arts and recorded an exclusive soundtrack for the new episodes. stewart is the co-creator and executive producer of the 2012 ABC sitcom Malibu Country starring Reba McEntire.

Henri Toulouse Lautrec

Post impressionist French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa sadly passed away 9 September 1901.  Born 24 November 1864, Henri’s parents, the Comte and Comtesse, were first cousins (Henri’s two grandmothers were sisters) and unfortunately Henri suffered from congenital health conditions sometimes attributed to a family history of inbreeding. At the age of 13 Henri fractured his right thigh bone and, at 14, the left.The breaks did not heal properly. Modern physicians attribute this to an unknown genetic disorder, possibly pycnodysostosis (also sometimes known as Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome), or a variant disorder along the lines of osteopetrosis, achondroplasia, or osteogenesis imperfecta. Rickets aggravated with praecox virilism has also been suggested. His legs ceased to grow, so that as an adult he was extremely short. He had developed an adult-sized torso, while retaining his child-sized legs. He is reported to have had hypertrophied genitals.

Physically unable to participate in many activities typically enjoyed by men of his age, Toulouse-Lautrec immersed himself in art. He became an important Post-Impressionist painter, art nouveau illustrator, and lithographer, and recorded in his works many details of the late-19th-century bohemian lifestyle in Paris. Toulouse-Lautrec contributed a number of illustrations to the magazine Le Rire during the mid-1890s.After failing college entrance exams, Henri passed at his second attempt and completed his studies. During a stay in Nice his progress in painting and drawing impressed Princeteau, who persuaded his parents to let him return to Paris and study under the acclaimed portrait painter Léon Bonnat. Henri’s mother had high ambitions and, with the aim of Henri becoming a fashionable and respected painter, used the family influence to get him into Bonnat’s studio.Toulouse-Lautrec was drawn to Montmartre, the area of Paris famous for its bohemian lifestyle and the haunt of artists, writers, and philosophers. Studying with Bonnat placed Henri in the heart of Montmartre, an area he rarely left over the next 20 years. After Bonnat took a new job, Henri moved to the studio of Fernand Cormon in 1882 and studied for a further five years and established the group of friends he kept for the rest of his life. At this time he met Émile Bernard and Van Gogh. Cormon, whose instruction was more relaxed than Bonnat’s, allowed his pupils to roam Paris, looking for subjects to paint. In this period Toulouse-Lautrec had his first encounter with a prostitute (reputedly sponsored by his friends), which led him to paint his first painting of prostitutes in Montmartre, a woman rumoured to be called Marie-Charlotte.

In 1887 he participated in an exposition in Toulouse using the pseudonym “Tréclau”, an anagram of the family name ‘Lautrec’. He later exhibited in Paris with Van Gogh and Louis Anquetin. The Belgian critic Octave Maus invited him to present eleven pieces at the Vingt (the Twenties) exhibition in Brussels in February. Vincent van Gogh’s brother, Theo bought ‘Poudre de Riz’ (Rice Powder) for 150 francs for the Goupil & Ciegallery.From 1889 until 1894, Henri took part in the “Independent Artists’ Salon” on a regular basis. He made several landscapes of Montmartre. At this time the ‘Moulin Rouge’ opened. Tucked deep into Montmartre was the garden of Monsieur Pere Foret, where Toulouse-Lautrec executed a series of pleasant plein-air paintings of Carmen Gaudin, the same red-head model who appears in The Laundress (1888). When the Moulin Rouge cabaret opened, Toulouse-Lautrec was commissioned to produce a series of posters. His mother had left Paris and, though Henri had a regular income from his family, making posters offered him a living of his own. Other artists looked down on the work, but Henri was so aristocratic he did not care. The cabaret reserved a seat for him and displayed his paintings. Among the well-known works that he painted for the Moulin Rouge and other Parisian nightclubs are depictions of the singer Yvette Guilbert; the dancer Louise Weber, known as the outrageous La Goulue (“The Glutton”), who created the “French Can-Can”; and the much more subtle dancer Jane Avrill. Toulouse-Lautrec also travelled to London.Making posters in London led him to making the ‘Confetti’ poster, and the bicycle advert ‘La Chaîne Simpson’.While in London he met and befriended Oscar Wilde. When Wilde faced imprisonment in Britain, Henri was a very vocal supporter of Wilde. Toulouse-Lautrec’s portrait of Wilde was painted the same year as Wilde’s trial.

Throughout his career, which spanned less than 20 years, Toulouse-Lautrec created 737 canvases, 275 watercolours, 363 prints and posters, 5,084 drawings, some ceramic and stained glass work, and an unknown number of lost works. His debt to the Impressionists, in particular the more figurative painters Manet and Degas, is apparent. His style was influenced by the classical Japanese woodprints which became popular in art circles in Paris. In his works can be seen parallels to Manet’s detached barmaid at A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and the behind-the-scenes ballet dancers of Degas. He excelled at capturing people in their working environment, with the colour and the movement of the gaudy night-life present but the glamour stripped away. He was masterly at capturing crowd scenes in which the figures are highly individualized. At the time that they were painted, the individual figures in his larger paintings could be identified by silhouette alone, and the names of many of these characters have been recorded. His treatment of his subject matter, whether as portraits, scenes of Parisian night-life, or intimate studies, has been described as both sympathetic and dispassionate.Toulouse-Lautrec’s skilled depiction of people relied on his painterly style which is highly linear and gives great emphasis to contour. He often applied the paint in long, thin brushstrokes which would often leave much of the board on which they are painted showing through. Many of his works may best be described as drawings in coloured paint.

Due to his illness Lautrec was rather short and was mocked for his short stature and physical appearance, which led him to drown his sorrows in alcohol. At first this was beer and wine, but his tastes expanded. He was one of the notable Parisians who enjoyed American-style cocktails, France being a nation of wine purists. He had parties at his house on Friday nights and forced his guests to try them. The invention of the cocktail “Earthquake” or Tremblement de Terre is attributed to Toulouse-Lautrec: a potent mixture containing half absinthe and half cognac (in a wine goblet, 3 parts Absinthe and 3 parts Cognac, sometimes served with ice cubes or shaken in a cocktail shaker filled with ice) .In 1893 Lautrec’s alcoholism began to take its toll, and as those around him realized the seriousness of his condition there were rumours of a syphilis infection. In 1899 he was briefly institutionalised. He even had a cane that hid alcohol so that a drink was always available. As an alcoholic for most of his adult life, Toulouse-Lautrec was placed in a sanatorium shortly before his death. He died from complications due to alcoholism and syphilis at the family estate in Malromé at the age of 36. He is buried in Verdelais, Gironde, a few kilometres from the Château Malromé, where he died.Toulouse-Lautrec’s last words reportedly were: “Le vieux con!” (“The old fool!”, although the word “con” can be meant in both simple and vulgar terms). This was his goodbye to his father. Allthough in another version he used the word “hallali”, a term used by huntsmen for the moment the hounds kill their prey, “I knew, papa, that you wouldn’t miss the death.” (“Je savais, papa, que vous ne manqueriez pas l’hallali”). After Toulouse-Lautrec’s death, his mother, the Comtesse Adèle Toulouse-Lautrec, and Maurice Joyant, his art dealer, promoted his art. His mother contributed funds for a museum to be created in Albi, his birthplace, to house his works. The Toulouse-Lautrec Museum owns the world’s largest collection of works by the painter.