Théophile Alexandre Steinlen was a celebrated draughtsman of the Art Nouveau era. He came to Paris from his native Switzerland at age 20. There, he established himself as a painter and leading illustrator of popular journals, including Le Rire, Gil Blas, Les Humouristes and L'Assiette au Beurre between 1883 and 1920.
Where most of his lithographs dealt with the Montmartre and its environment, Steinlen was also an influential artist of the socialist journal Le Chambard Socialiste. In order to avoid political repercussions for some of his art dealing with strong social content, he often employed pseudonyms such as Treelan and Pierre. Furthermore, Steinlen drew for the prints of Imagerie Quantin in Paris, which resembled the Images d'Épinal.
One of the Images de Quantin by Steinlen
Steinlen is best known for his work for the Montmartre cabaret Le Chat Noir and its eponymous magazine, for which he created lots of pantomime comics with cats or other animals. Steinlen's use of line and design led to some of the most famous posters of the Art Nouveau movement, including the iconic poster for the above-mentioned cabaret. The artist died in Paris in 1923 and was buried at the Saint-Vincent cemetary in his beloved Montmartre. His work is to this day present in many museums around the world.