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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Au Chat Noir...

Tournee du Chat Noir Pictures, Images and Photos

Back to the wonder-walls of Chez Fhina... The veritable Palace that it is!

Are you surprised to find that I have this image in my home, with my spiritual home being la belle Paris, mes bloggy kittens?

I first saw this poster adorning my employer's bedroom wall in rural (very rural) Normandie... I loved it, and was intrigued by it. This was years before I was to live with a black cat and all his eccentricities...

le chat noir at Pere Lachaise Pictures, Images and Photos

Now, I will never be without this image, this sentinel, this icon, my virtual 'Familiar', as it were... Counterpoint to my White Witch aspirations.

La Wiki whispers in my shell-like: "Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, frequently referred to as just Steinlen (November 10, 1859 – December 13, 1923), was a Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker.

Born in Lausanne, Steinlen studied at the University of Lausanne before taking a job as a designer trainee at a textile mill in Mulhouse in eastern France. In his early twenties he was still developing his skills as a painter when he and his new wife were encouraged by the painter François Bocion to move to the artistic community in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris. Once there, Steinlen was befriended by the painter Adolphe Willette who introduced him to the artistic crowd at Le Chat Noir*** that led to his commissions to do poster art for the cabaret owner/entertainer, Aristide Bruant and other commercial enterprises.

His permanent home, Montmartre and its environs was a favorite subject throughout Steinlen's life and he often painted scenes of some of the harsher aspects of life in the area. In addition to paintings and drawings, he also did sculpture on a limited basis, most notably figures of cats that he had great affection for as seen in many of his paintings.

Théophile Steinlen died in 1923 in Paris and was laid to rest in the Cimetière Saint-Vincent in Montmartre. Today, his works can be found at many important museums around the world including at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., United States."

Chat Noir Pictures, Images and Photos

*** Le Chat Noir ("The Black Cat") was a 19th-century cabaret in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. It opened on 18 November 1881 at 84 Boulevard Rouchechouart by the artist, Rodophe Salis, and closed in 1897 (much to the disappointment of Picasso and others who looked for it when they came to Paris for the Exposition in 1900)".

Le Chat Noir Pictures, Images and Photos


lakeviewer said...

Oh Fhina, you never disappoint. I'm transported to Montmartre, back in the twenties, a black cat sneaking in and out of sight. La vie en rose, no, la vie en noir.

Good to see you in fine form again.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to become dyslectic? I only ask because I read your heading as 'Oh, That Choir' and thought you were writing about The Choir' that wonderful programme where Gareth Malone takes non singers and creates a choir. Only for a moment did I think that, I'm not a total loony. We have some very old French Magazines, the names of which escape me at the moment...it will come back the moment I sign off, and this poster reminds me of them, I think he is in there somewhere. Wonderfull illustrations, so evocative of the period, love 'em.

Suldog said...

I have always loved black cats. My Grandmother has almost always had one, since I was a child, and still did until just a year or so ago (she will be 104 this December.)

Tell me, please - I have heard that in certain parts of Europe they are considered good luck. Is this true? Here they are (ridiculously) considered bad luck. I have found, on the contrary, that having my path crossed by a black cat has resulted in wonderful luck for me (or, at least, has usually been followed by nice coincidences.)

LadyFi said...

Lovely cats photos.. and such an adorable poster.There is some mystic power about black cats, don't you think?

Something I wrote earlier...

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