Sunday, 10 November 2019


Born this day in 1859 (†1923) in Lausanne, Art Nouveau printmaker Théophile Alexandre Steinlen first apprenticed as designer in a textile mill in Mulhouse before joining an artist colony in the Montmarte quarter, where he was introduced to the cabaret owner and entertainer Aristide Bruant (the dashing man in the bold red scarf who was the subject of many Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec paintings), helping to secure Steinlen commissions for poster art in Paris and beyond.
Le Chat Noir (Bruant performed there as well and his most well-known ballad was eponymously titled) itself was the pioneering enterprise, established in 1881, of fellow impresario Louis Rodlphe Salis and is considered the first modern night club, with food, drinks and live entertainment and which soon outgrow its original venue, and the revue was taken on the road and held in music halls across the city.