LAUSANNE.- Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, a naturalized French citizen of Swiss origin, was a cartoonist, engraver, caricaturist, illustrator, poster designer, painter, and sculptor. Although selftaught, he inherited a rich artistic tradition (Delacroix, Daumier, and Manet), which he reinterpreted in genre scenes, in the domain of political iconography, and through a series of nudes, still life paintings, and portraits. The dissemination of his works in the golden age of the poster and the great illustrated periodicals made the artist one of the central figures of European visual culture around 1900.
Steinlen, Eye of the Street brings together the main public and private collections of the artists work. For the first time the three principal collections have been jointly solicited: the bequest to the French state by Colette Desormière, née Steinlen, the artists daughter (Musée dOrsay and the Department of Graphic Arts of the Musée du Louvre in Paris); the vast collection formed by Mr. Oscar Ghez (Association des Amis du Petit Palais, Geneva); and the collections of the artists own studio, which preserves the greater part of his archives since the death of his niece, Marguerite Steinlen. The Jacques Christophe Collection recently acquired by the Museum in Lausanne in partnership with the Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, and thanks to the Loterie Romande, the Association des Amis du Musée, and Pierre Gonset, reflects the will of the Museum to give Steinlen a place of primary importance in its collections.
The chronological and thematic tour of the exhibition brings the visitor from the Belle Époque of 1880s Montmartre, to the 1910s with the artist as witness of the First World War. Steinlen and his world are carried along by the winds of history.