Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen

Swiss, naturalized French
(1859 – 1923)
“The years around the turn of the century in Paris were the great periods of the ‘artist-reporter’ those painters who found their inspiration in the events of every-day life. One of the very greatest of these was Steinlen. With an eye for movement and gesture, with the ability to translate the scenes of the cafes, bars and street corners into pictorial composition.” (Weston No.5 1984, 28)

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Steinlen was a French Art Nouveau Painter.  In his early 20s when he and his wife Emilie moved to the artistic Bohemian area of Montmartre, Paris, he became acquainted with the artistic crowd at Le Chat Noir.  He created posters for the cabaret owner/entertainer Aristide Vruant.

His home in Montmartre and its surroundings was a favorite subject throughout his life.  His adored daughter, Colette, as well as his wife Emilie, were featured in many of his works.  He often included the family cats in many of his illustrations.  These subjects were dearest to his heart (as is so obvious), however, he also did works that represented politics and societal problems.

Today his works can be seen in Museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Steinlen then died in Paris in 1923.

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