Steinlen plays with his cats around the initial of his name

Steinlen chats


Steinlen. Chats. Dessin original.


Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (Lausanne,1859-Paris,1923). Study of cats. Original drawing in black pencil, signed “Steinlen” lower right. 20.8 x 15.1 cm at sight. Circa 1890. Coaster in an antique frame of gilt palmettes.

A beautiful and amusing feline variation on the initial of the artist’s name.

A press cartoonist and poster artist, a friend of the underprivileged, a painter of the suburbs and populous districts of Montmartre, Steinlen was also the “cat painter”. “Steinlen loved cats,” wrote Bénézit, “and at the beginning of his career he drew, painted and modelled them, trying to convey all the supple fantasy of their attitudes”. His models were his own felines, the lords of “Cat’s Cottage”, his house in the rue de Caulaincourt. In the spirit of his famous collection, Des chats. Images sans paroles, published by Ernest Flammarion in 1898, our drawing shows 7 cats (an allusion to their 7 lives?) felinely evolving around an “S”, with, inside the letter, the head of his emblematic black cat represented in profile and then from the front.

Steinlen. Chats. Dessin original.

Old label on the back: “La Palette d’or, 32 rue de la République, Marseille”.

Bénézit, Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, vol. IX, p. 811.

Minor damage to the frame but not serious, some very rare foxing.

1 500 €