(Lausanne 1859 - Paris 1923)
Study of a Man with Folded Arms
177 x 254 mm. (7 x 10 in.)
Steinlen depicted all manner of Parisian society in his drawings and illustrations, with a particular emphasis on the life of the working class. Like his contemporaries Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha, he was also active as a designer of theatrical and cabaret posters; an important means of disseminating his work and one that greatly added to his popularity. A close friend and collaborator of the singer and songwriter Aristide Bruant, Steinlen provided illustrations for sheet music covers, and also illustrated a number of books, including Guy de Maupassant’s La Vagabond and Anatole France’s L’Affaire Crainquebille. He enjoyed the first of many successful exhibitions of paintings and drawings in 1894, and in 1909 gained the distinction of a room devoted solely to his work at the Salon d’Automne.
As a draughtsman, Steinlen employed a wide variety of media, including black, blue and coloured chalks, ink, pencil, watercolour and charcoal. A large group of drawings by the artist, numbering nearly 2,800 sheets, is today in the collection of the Louvre.