Robert Combas

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec

No one will ever know how Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec would have reacted to his posthumous encounter with painter Robert Combas, but a lot of people, including the Board of Directors at the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi, which hosted their joint exhibition, didn’t entirely approve. Though Toulouse-Lautrec was born and raised in Albi, he was hardly a favorite son during his lifetime; in 1895, one of his uncles apparently summoned local notables to an auto-da-fé of eight of his paintings with the declaration, “This filth shall not dishonor my residence.” Even after his death there was no rush to claim his work for the patrimony; it was only in 1923, owing largely to the efforts of his mother, that the town’s imposing medieval archbishopric was converted into the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec.

It was undoubtedly in an attempt to inject a little more life into these hallowed halls that Robert

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