Theophile Alexandre Steinlen

Size: 11 3/8 x 15 3/4 inches - Original Lithographs
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Maitres de l'Affiche
Helle
Price: $200
Date: 1896
Print Code: Poste034

Maitres de l'Affiche
Mothu et Doria
Price: $500
Date: 1896
Print Code: Poste046

Maitres de l'Affiche
Lait Pur Sterilise
Price: $2500
Date: 1897
Print Code: Poste095

Maitres de l'Affiche
Le Coupable
Price: $200
Date: 1898
Print Code: Poste134

Maitres de l'Affiche
Chocolat Co. Francaise
Price: $2200
Date: 1899
Print Code: Poste170

Maitres de l'Affiche
Motocycles Comot
Price: $1500
Date: 1899
Print Code: Poste190

Maitres de l'Affiche
Two Women
Price: $500
Date: 1898
Print Code: Poste006

The "Les Maitres de l'Affiche" series was offered as a subscription series to collectors. Every month for 60 months, from December 1895 through November 1900, subscribers received by mail, 4 loose sheets (Maitres) with a cover sheet. It was sold in Paris for 2.50 francs for one month's subscription, (4 Maitres) and for 27 francs for 12 months (48 maitres), plus special (bonus) plates. Maitre's were never issued in a book form, but a binding of the 12 months Maitres was offered to subscribers, at the end of the year, with a beautiful hardcover design by Paul Berthon for 8 Francs.
The "Maitres de l'Affiche," were issued as separate numbered sheets, referred to as "plates" (PL). They were numbered, with the printers name "Imprimerie Chaix," in the margin at the bottom left hand corner, "PL.1" to "PL.240." In the margin at the bottom right hand corner of each, is a blind embossed stamp from a design of Cheret's.

Each overall plate measures approximately 11 3/8 in. x 15 3/4 inches. (29cm x 40cm).

In addition to the 240 posters, Special plates (or bonus plates) were issued to subscribers. There were a total of 16 Special plates, which were sent over the five years, each December, each June, and March and September of the final three years. These were not posters, but unique original lithographs done exclusively for the "Maitres de l'Affiche" series.
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 Francois 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.

"The years around the turn of the century in Paris were the great periods of the 'artist-reporter' those painters who found their inspiration in the events of every-day life. One of the very greatest of these was Steinlen. With an eye for movement and gesture, with the ability to translate the scenes of the cafes, bars and street corners into pictorial composition, in his drawings he created a pattern of expressive shape, swift shading and telling details of facial expression which is redolent with the whole atmosphere of the period. Much of his strength and effectiveness of his work derives from the fact that, like Daumier, he was able to combine a clear sense of style with humour and social understanding " (Weston No.5 1984, 28)