Toulouse-Lautrec regularly practiced his portraiture and understood that this was a skill which needed to be fostered over time. His sketchbooks were full of completed and partial sketches of different people that he came across on his travels, including family and friends. He would often write their names on the back of any portrait, and sometimes then give them the drawing as a gift. Alternatively, he might also draw other artworks on the back and keep them as a means to study at a later date. Some of his sketchbooks have since been broken up, with drawings then sold separately, but there are some which remain relatively untouched in a variety of public and private collections. This particular piece was known simply as Monsieur G.T. De C, indicating the identity of the subject found here. The piece appeared in the 1971 catalogue raisonne of his career known as Toulouse-Lautrec et son œuvre, which provided some authenticity to this particular piece.
It was in 2014 at the Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale run by Sotheby's in London that this item came up for sale, receiving a pre-auction estimate of £12-18000. It therefore managed to surpass that figure on the day and would change hands again between collectors, just as it had done several times across the 20th century. Previous owners have been named as Alexandre Natanson, and M. Van Riel plus a gallery in Paris and a private, unnamed collector. Other notable drawings by this artist to have come up for sale in recent years include the likes of Portrait of Oscar Wilde, Horseman and Amazon and also The Sentimental Walk. You will notice about how horses appeared fairly regularly within his sketches, as well as a number of portraits of friends and family.
Besides the charming portrait found here, there were many other notable artworks from his career to admire. Examples of this included the likes of La Toilette, At Montrouge (Rosa la Rouge) and May Milton Dancer, with Toulouse-Lautrec actually able to leave behind around one thousand artworks by the end of his career. It is hard to really summarise his best work, because of the breadth that he produced but there were certain items that became particularly famous and these tended to be his poster art which promoted local events and businesses. He brightened up the streets of Paris with some contemporary art which helped some of his favourite shows to bring in more customers as well as strengthening his own artistic reputation.