From October 17, 2017, to January 21, 2018, the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid is holding an exhibition comparing two masters of 19th- and 20th-century art: Pablo Picasso and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. In addition to examining the cliché of the young Picasso as an admirer of Lautrec in Barcelona and in his early years in Paris, the show explores the influence of the cabaret painter's work on the Spanish artist's career.

Here's a look at what to expect from the five sections of the show:


Lautrec became aware of his talent for caricature early in his career, effectively capturing the personality of the people he painted. He painted many caricature self-portraits, as well as portraits of people he knew, such as Jane Avril. Picasso also used caricature in his work. In fact, two paintings -- "Jane Avril" by Lautrec and "Bust of a Smiling Woman" by Picasso -- display the same characteristic style and pointillist technique.


The two painters' work offered a window onto a world often overlooked by art, such as Parisian cafés and the cabarets of Montmartre. Lautrec painted posters for shows and portraits of their stars, such as La Goulue and Jane Avril, on many occasions. This fascination with Parisian nightlife is also seen in the work of Picasso, with works such as "The Diners."


The world of the circus also played a key role in the careers of both artists. Lautrec was particularly interested in equestrian acts, while Picasso had a more melancholic approach, portraying harlequins as the outcasts of Parisian nightlife.

Brothel life

4.jpgProstitution is another subject common to both artists, expressed in many works by both Lautrec and Picasso. Lautrec portrayed prostitutes attending to their toilette, getting dressed or playing cards, whereas the Spanish painter took a more erotic, sometimes pornographic, approach. At the turn of the 20th century, Picasso went to Saint-Lazare hospital to sketch women with syphilis, leading to works such as "Woman with Bangs."

Hidden eros


When it comes to erotic themes, Lautrec, influenced by Degas, painted more symbolic and delicate connotations, whereas Picasso took a more violent approach.

 (Read more: The Art Of Buying Art)

Tags: Paris, Picasso, Madrid, Lautrec, Spain