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Not much time left to see Toulouse-Lautrec

Visitors to the National Gallery of Australia look at the work Caudieux during Toulouse Lautrec exhibition.

Visitors to the National Gallery of Australia look at the work Caudieux during Toulouse Lautrec exhibition. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Canberrans have a reputation for booking late. But anyone who wants to see the National Gallery of Australia's exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec: Paris & the Moulin Rouge really had better hop to it. The exhibition closes on Tuesday. And the packing starts the following day.

People from all around Australia have already been to see the exhibition of the work of 19th-century French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, whose best-known work focused on Parisian nightclubs, prostitutes, dancers and performers.

Among those taking in the art was Nola Price, from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, and her granddaughter Imogen, 10.

Imogen Price, 10, from Mornington Peninsula with her grandmother Nola Price next to their favourite work Jane Avril.

Imogen Price, 10, from Mornington Peninsula with her grandmother Nola Price next to their favourite work Jane Avril. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Nola Price said they were in town on a family holiday and it was her first time in the national capital in 30 years.

"I just love art," she said.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Her favourite work in the exhibition was Jane Avril, for the way the artist captured his subject's look and theatrical feeling.

Imogen said, "I like looking at how well it's painted and the texture and colour that is used."

She said she used to study painting but traded it for netball: she said she might try to do both.

Another interstate visitor was Edwin Dell, from Perth, who was in Canberra for the eighth time. He came both for the exhibition and for the Centenary of Canberra and hoped to go to the Australian War Memorial, the Botanic Gardens and the National Portrait Gallery, among other places, during his eight days in the capital.

"It's still got its charms," he said of Canberra.

"It's got the feeling of a nice country town about it rather than a big city."

Assistant director of the gallery Adam Worrall said that while the official exhibition statistics would be released by gallery director Ron Radford later in the week after it closed, the Easter weekend had seen tens of thousands of people attending, with lines stretching around the building. Monday was not quite as busy but the morning sessions had still sold out with 600 people entering in the first hour.

Toulouse-Lautrec: Paris & the Moulin Rouge finishes on Tuesday at the National Gallery of Australia. Gallery hours 10am to 5pm (last entry 3.30pm). Admission $25 adults, $20 concessions, $6 children (seven to 16). Bookings: Ticketek - visit ticketek.com.au or phone 132849. More information: nga.gov.au

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