Art-Steinlen-Le Chat Noir TB07
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Texas, United States
In the hands of malaika54.
This is not collectible.
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About This Item
Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat) was a nineteenth-century entertainment establishment, in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. It opened on 18 November 1881 by the impresario Rodolphe Salis, and closed at a second location in 1897, not long after Salis' death. Salis had declared that "The Chat Noir is the most extraordinary cabaret in the world. You rub shoulders with the most famous men of Paris, meeting there with foreigners from every corner of the world."
Le Chat Noir is thought to be the first modern nightclub, where the patrons sat at tables and drank alcoholic beverages while being entertained by a variety show on stage. The acts were introduced by a master of ceremonies who interacted with well-known patrons at the tables. The atmosphere was often rowdy.
The nightclub is now perhaps best known by its iconic Steinlen poster art. Coincidentally, artist Steinlen is far more famous for his Le Chat Noir poster than any of his other works.
Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (November 10, 1859 – December 13, 1923) was a Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker. Born in Lausanne, he studied at the University of Lausanne before taking a job as a designer trainee at a textile mill in Mulhouse in eastern France. In his early twenties he was still developing his skills as a painter when he and his new wife were encouraged by the painter François Bocion to move to the artistic community in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris. Once there, Steinlen was befriended by the painter Adolphe Willette who introduced him to the artistic crowd at Le Chat Noir that led to his commissions to do poster art for the cabaret owner/entertainer, Aristide Bruant and other commercial enterprises.
In the early 1890s, Steinlen's paintings of rural landscapes, flowers, and nudes were being shown at the Salon des Indépendants. His 1895 lithograph titled Les Chanteurs des Rues was the frontispiece to a work entitled Chansons de Montmartre published by Éditions Flammarion with sixteen original lithographs that illustrated the Belle Epoque songs of Paul Delmet. His permanent home, Montmartre and its environs, was a favorite subject throughout Steinlen's life and he often painted scenes of some of the harsher aspects of life in the area. In addition to paintings and drawings, he also did sculpture on a limited basis, most notably figures of cats that he had great affection for as seen in many of his paintings.
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