||In 1891, Toulouse-Lautrec decided to investigate the potential of lithography. Working with Pierre Bonnard's lithographer Ancourt, he learned the craft from the bottom up - and within months, brought it to an unprecedented artistic zenith. He managed to cram some 400 lithographs into the remaining ten years of his life, 31 of which were posters, and all of which were the cream of graphic design. His masterpieces define the limits of poster style: where Jules Chéret epitomizes a completely external, impersonal viewpoint, Toulouse-Lautrec is the embodiment of internal, personal vision with a point to make - not, to be sure, a moral judgment, but rather an amused, wry observation on the passing scene.
Once he became immersed in Paris nightlife, entertainers became his primary subject matter, but he was also known to create portraits and caricatures for many of his friends. He skillfully used lines and color to subtly imply background or props for his characters, and these touches incorporated reality with the already present warmth and charm in his posters.
This is a lithographed reproduction (1950) of a poster designed by Lautrec in 1895.
Filled with enthusiasm by the success of the first poster (Le Pendu), Arthur Huc, editor of La Depeche de Toulouse, commissioned this second design from Lautrec to announce the publication of another serial--Le Tocsin, by Jules de Gastyn.
La Depeche announced the new poster at the same time as the new serial story, and referred to the success of its predecessor "copies of which are now almost impossible to find, and cost at least a louis in the art bookshops."