The large retrospective of more than two hundred works consists of paintings, posters (including the world-famous Le Chat Noir), drawings and illustrations. Steinlens paintings are an important part of the exhibition, especially because some of them have never been displayed before.
The Parisian streetlife
Steinlen, Swiss of origin, moves in 1881 to the artists' neighbourhood Montmartre, where he becomes one of the emblematic artists of the area. The moment he arrives there, Montmartre start to become the domain of cabarets, nocturnal pleasures and bon-vivants. Steinlen becomes friends with a group of artists, including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Adolphe Willette. Steinlen paints and draws portraits of laundresses and vagabonds, love-couples and errandboys in the streets of Paris. They are like passers-by in a movie: on their way, talking, working. Steinlen observes them in the Parisian streetlife and registers them in his work.
Love for cats
Steinlen becomes famous for his love for cats. His archaic black tomcat that announces the cabaret of Le Chat Noir, while seated on a red underground is the icon for Paris' fin de siècle. The poster that he makes for this popular cabaret becomes thé symbol of Montmartre. On his paintings and drawings cats appear in divers ways: vicious, graceful or playful. Steinlen loves the animal's nature.
'Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Meester van Montmartre', Scriptum Art Books, (ISBN 978 90 5594 559 7), €29,95, only in Dutch