In the late 1800s Fin-de-siècle Paris hosted a number of circuses and Toulouse-Lautrec (French,1864-1901) frequented them all. He was personally drawn to circus performers - those colorful equestrians, animal trainers, clowns, and acrobats on society's fringes. It was while undergoing treatment for alcoholism at a sanitarium on the outskirts of Paris in 1899 that Lautrec produced these creative crayon/chalk drawings of circus figures. These sketches were drawn entirely from memory. The Lehman horse and rider perform the "pas espagnol", the ambling gait formalized by the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. It was thanks to these circus drawings that Toulouse-Lautrec earned his release from the sanitarium. His impressive handling convinced doctors of his improving health. Leaving the clinic, he is said to have remarked, "I've bought my release with my drawings." Some of his works are available in our Art Gallery and we offer them here today.