Lonely Planet review
Lodged inside one of Albi's impressive red-brick landmarks, the Palais de la Berbie (built in the early Middle Ages for the town's archbishop), this wonderful museum offers a comprehensive overview of Albi's most celebrated son. The museum owns more than 500 original works by Toulouse-Lautrec (the largest collection in France outside the Musée d'Orsay), spanning the artist's development from his early impressionist influences to his famous Parisian brothel scenes and poster art.
Pride of place goes to two versions of the Au Salon de la rue des Moulins , hung side-by-side to illustrate the artist's subtly different technique. Elsewhere around the museum, look out for a fascinating collection of early portraits – particularly of his mother, the Comtesse Adèle de Toulouse-Lautrec, his cousin Gabriel Tapié de Celeyran and his close friend, Maurice Joyant. There are also some surprisingly delicate animal studies that provide a fascinating contrast to his later work.
On the top floor of the museum, there's a small collection of works by some of Toulouse-Lautrec's contemporaries, including Degas, Matisse and Rodin.
A short stroll away is the privately owned Maison Natale de Toulouse-Lautrec where the artist was born. Next door is La Maison de Lapérouse , where the Albi-born explorer lived before sailing around the Pacific in 1785. Guided visits can be arranged for groups via the tourist office.