The present sheet, drawn circa 1881-82, is an interesting example of the young Lautrec's caustic drawing style. The facial features (the round nose, slightly bulging eyes and thick hair) of the Homme au chapeau haut-de-forme suggest a possible self-portrait - an interpretation confirmed by the verso, unmistakably depicting the 19 year old artist in his studio. This early self-representation in the act of painting is very significant, at this date. In 1881, after the two tragic falls that would stop his growth, Lautrec went back to Paris to finish his studies at the Lycée Condorcet. He brilliantly succeeded at his Baccalauréat, and was thence allowed by his parents to devote himself to painting under the guidance of the artist René Princeteau. The verso of the present sheet is thus, most possibly, a self-portrait of the artist at his easel in his studio.