Toulouse- Lautrec and Falconry

Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec’s father was a falconer and sportsman, and though he painted everything from ladies of the night to horses, many do not know that he also painted hawks. Here is his portrait of his father, Count Alphonse de Toulouse- Lautrec, painted by Henri in 1881 when he was just seventeen (the color seems a bit off):

From Paul Domski: this dedication to his son that Count Henri penned in his son’s copy of the “Small Handbook on Falconry” (1876):

“Remember, my son, that the only healthy way to live is out in the open
air and daylight, that everything deprived of freedom loses its
identity soon and dies. This little book on falconry will teach you to
appreciate the life of the open fields; and should you one day
experience the bitterness of life, first horses, then hounds and
falcons will be precious companions and help you forget things a

And here is a Sparrowhawk he did at 16:


  1. A fellow named Yuri Grecco posted it on one of the many falconry email lists. Sure is a great quote though, huh?

  2. What excellent advice for life for a son and friends thru time.
    Wonderful portraits, which by its inclusion here (thank you very much) seems to include all of us. Truths really do stand the test of time.

  3. This is a spectacular post. It is why I check this blog at least twice a week. Pa-Leez do not stop posting. Thank you for my moment of Zen. Laura

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