Un chat jouant
Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, A cat playing, late 19th-early 20th century, charcoal on paper, 21.4 x 18.2 cm.
Author of the mythical "Black Cat poster", symbol of fin-de-siècle Montmartre, the artist Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923) was a painter, engraver, illustrator, poster artist, sculptor, caricaturist, but also a committed humanist. Steinleinn, born in Lausanne, arrived in Paris in 1881-1882 and housed more than 20 cats in his house-studio with a garden on the rue Caulaincourt, which he nicknamed "Cats Cottage" - to the point of receiving awards from the Society for the Protection of Animals. A great fan of Bastet, the Egyptian goddess with a feline head, he never stopped drawing his furry companions, which inspired him to create a beautiful series of bronze sculptures between 1905 and 1906.
In this unpublished charcoal drawing, the artist represents a seated cat looking to the right. In this composition, Steinlein focuses not only on the animal's attitude but also on its position in space. He is, along with Foujita, without a doubt, the 20th century artist who best captured the characteristics of the pet cat.