Steinlen, Théophile Alexandre (1859-1923) by Scholes, Robert

Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859 – 1923) He was born in Lausanne. He studied literature at the Académie de Lausanne. Not being an assiduous student, he was an apprentice to a cloth printer in Mulhouse. In 1881 he went to Paris, where he soon me Dr. Willette, painter Adolphe Willette’s brother, who introduced him to the circle of Rodolphe Salis’ Chat Noir, where he became the friend of , Aristide Bruant, , and Alphonse Allais.He worked on the newspapers and , illustrated Paul Delmet and Richepin’s songs and Aristide Bruant’s book . But there were two sides to his work, the decorative, commercial side (lots of cat posters) and the socially commited, anarchist side. In 1885 he began his career as a poster artist, with an ad for Trouville sur Mer. In the 90s he learned lithography and continued to work as an illustrator for newspapers and books, getting to know Zola and the naturalists. He was most prolific of all artists for the various journals of Paris, including . Between 1883 and 1900 he produced close to 2000 illustrations for 50 journals. “The humanity of the street, the working class, the uneducated, the exploited, were the pervasive subject of Steinlen’s art” (, p. 8). Even his war posters have more to do with the plight of soldiers than with patriotic fervor. Toulouse-Lautrec Vallotton Le Chat Noir Le Mirliton Dans la rue Le Rire Color Revolution

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