Two Riders on Horseback, 1879–81
Henri de Toulouse–Lautrec (French, 1864–1901)
Pen and blue ink and graphite; 6 3/8 x 7 7/8 in. (16.21 x 19.99 cm)
The Lesley and Emma Sheafer Collection, Bequest of Emma A. Sheafer, 1974 (1974.356.45)
The early career of Toulouse-Lautrec was largely shaped by his first teacher, René Princeteau, a close family friend who was a deaf-mute and a painter of fashionable sporting pictures. The elegantly outfitted riders in this sketch may have been observed on the artist's family estate in Albi, in southern France, where his eccentric and aristocratic father kept a full stable. Lautrec's love of animals would last throughout his life, and a number of his mature works depict horses ridden by jockeys or controlled by circus trainers.