Theophile Alexandre Steinlen Biography

STEINLEN (Théophile-Alexandre) 1859-1923

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Steinlen moved to Paris at age 22 to pursue a career in art. He won popular acceptance and produced literally thousands of illustrations, cartoons, and drawings. In his posters, he often used his wife, daughter, and the family cats as subjects. Humanity and social sensitivity come through in his work.

Steinlen moved from Switzerland to Paris in about 1880, where he became friends with the owner of the Chat Noir cabaret and publisher of the Chat Noir magazine. This connection gave Steinlen an opportunity to publish some of his drawings. Over his lifetime he published thousands of drawings in many journals. In 1885 he began his poster career.

Several of Steinlen's posters have become the most famous poster images ever created. He became extremely well known during his life with his contributions to Parisian humour magazines including Le Rire and "Gil Blas."

In the 1890's Steinlen's wonderful use of line and design led to some of the most famous posters of the Art Nouveau movement. These include, Tournee du Chat Noir (1896), La Rue (1896) and Lait pur Sterilise (1894).

In total, Steinlen created 382 original lithographs and 115 etchings. Le Depute aux Champs was published by Kleinmann in Paris in a limited edition of 100 impressions.