Toulouse-Lautrec was born in Albi into one of the oldest aristocratic families. Henri was weak and often sick. By the time he was 10 he had begun to draw and paint. He subsequently studied with French academic painters L. J. F. Bonnat and Fernand Cormon. He stayed in the Montmartre section of Paris, the center of the cabaret entertainment and bohemian life that he loved to paint. Circuses, dance halls, nightclubs, racetracks and Parisian brothels—all these spectacles were set down on canvas or made into lithographs. Toulouse-Lautrec was very much a part of all this activity. He would sit at a crowded nightclub table, laughing and drinking, and at the same time he would make swift sketches.