A black cat works magic to lure patrons in to “Chat Noir,” the nightclub in this poster by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859 – 1923). Originally a textile designer, Steinlen is best known as an illustrator who created posters of cabarets and music hall performers incorporating his signature cats. The Chat Noir, a lively Montmartre cabaret, published a journal illustrated by Steinlen, who created hundreds of images for French magazines.
It has always been a marvel to me -- that French language; it has always been a puzzle to me. How beautiful that language is! How expressive it seems to be! How full of grace it is! And when it comes from lips like those [of Sarah Bernhardt], how eloquent and how limpid it is! And, oh, I am always deceived--I always think I am going to understand it. - Mark Twain, a Biography