Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfia was an aristocrat. His lineage went back to the Count of Toulouse in 1196. But he was also a victim of inbreeding. His parents were first cousins and he suffered from a number of congenital health conditions, fragile bones and a misshapen body among them. He broke both legs when young and never reached five feet tall. In addition to his talent for art, he had an ebullient spirit and a sharp wit.
He and van Gogh both attended the art school of Fernand Cormon (c. 1885) together. But while Henri was a student leader van Gogh was an outsider. [n]