Alone by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Toulouse-Lautrec is my favorite painter. I own several books of his work and have seen most of what he’s done. He is underrated to this day. His works have been criticized as ugly or muddy, two aspects of his art I find the most beauty in. His subject matter was almost entirely women, but no “fair maidens”. He painted working women, whores, dance hall girls, women who had grown old, women who had lost (or never had) the flush and firmness of youth. They are rarely smiling. His work was controversial, not only for its focus on women of the poor and working classes, but for the fact that much of it was sexual in nature. Keep in mind that this was in the late 1800s. Not only did he paint nudes in a less “tasteful” and more realistic way, he often depicted women being intimate and sexual with each other.

I have always felt a weird kinship with Toulouse-Lautrec that may be all in my head, but that exists nevertheless.

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