Saturday, April 16, 2022

Château d'Auvers-sur-Oise | Les jardins secrets de Théophile Alexandre Steinlen


Two weeks ago I went on a press day trip to see the work of Théophile Alexandre Steinlen,(1859-1923) a major graphic artist from the end of the 19th-20th century at Chateau d’Auvers-sur-Oise

gifted painter, sculpter, engraver and poster designer.
Steinlen’s cat images
 are universally recognizable, like this 1896 poster for popular bohemian cabaret, La Chat Noir in Montmartre. 
Some famous contemporaries to patronize le Chat Noir were Debussy, Eric Satie, Yvette Guilbert, Paul Verlaine, Aristide Bruant, Paul Signac, August Strindberg, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
And they all knew Steinlen. Many became part of his close artistic circle.
Steinlen’s subjects included laborers, laundresses, carpenters, as well as street scenes, portraits, cartoons and illustrations for newspapers like Le Mirliton or L'Assiette au beurre
The exhibit covers the broad spectrum of his work, many pieces from private collections, plus nature studies made in his garden in the Oise.
Drawings and aquarelles he made in both Auvers and Norway. 
This poignant large sketch for a poster, titled ‘The Tenent’/Le Locotaire captures perfectly today’s Ukrainian families, who lost their country and their homes. *THANK YOU again dear PBers for your blue and yellow watercolor purchases in March. I received a thank you from the International Red Cross for a donation of $575 👏👏👏
Auvers-sur-Oise is of course the small town half an hour outside Paris, where van Gogh spent the last 70 days of his life. 
It feels very much as if nothing has changed. 
After the exhibition we went on a jaunt
To see van Gogh’s grave. I saw it last trip, but it is always a moving experience. He is buried next to his brother, Theo, who sadly died 6 months later. 
I know I should be showing you Paris’ spectacular chocolate eggs. Tomorrow I promise🙏 
As it happens my guy at the copyshop was telling me about his hen, Louisa (my middle name). 
The next day he brought in these enormous, beautiful eggs for me! 
I remembered the wonderful eggcups I’d seen at
Auberge Ravoux
 where Van Gogh rented a room in Auvers. So of course I’ve been painting up a storm of egg cups, pink tulips, more blue and yellow watercolors. One thing leads to another dear PBers🌸 I wish you all a Happy Easter 🐣 Ramadan, Passover🌸


  1. Wonderful post! Van Gogh, those eggs, Chat Noir. All good.

  2. HI Carol,

    Your posts are beyond wonderful--especially for Francophiles who are also artists. I long for some of your experiences which you share so beautifully in words and photos. The info posted on Auvers-sur-Oise got my attention, as I wondered what a trip there might be like--lodgings, the Steinlen exhibit, Van Gogh's grave and more? I'd love to know your thoughts--the pandemic has kept me close to home, but you've whetted my appetite to get going. Grand merci!

  3. Jocelyn11:57 AM

    Dear PB!
    Thank you so much ,for posting beautiful
    Drawings, photos & curiosites. Very inspirant. Wish you a happy Easter
    Joyeuse pâques.

  4. RobynFrance -its pretty much of a day trip, preferably on the weekends or holidays if you’re taking the train.
    If you’re driving I would still go on the weekends - more lively.
    We went on a rainy, weekday and it still felt very much Van Gogh’s town so it depends what you want.
    If you search for Auvers on the blog, you’ll find at least 3 visits.
    I have never been disappointed. Biggest problem os to catch a direct train to and from Gare du Nord or you can get stuck waiting a little for connections, but there are far worse things.
    Feel free to ask me anything 😊

  5. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Is that a coffee cup/egg dish? I love the things I learn from your blog! I told friend of mine is who is going to Paris in a few weeks about Charlotte’s cooking class and she is booked for one, I can’t wait to hear about it. Happy Easter to you Carol!

  6. Love this post and it has made me even more excited about going to Auvers. I'm starting to pack this weekend and hope I'm ready to go. Have a wonderful Easter, Carol.

  7. Have always liked the Chat Noir poster. Thanks to you I know a bit about the artist Steinlen. You always educate!
    Happy Easter Carol 🗼❤️🐇

  8. Wonderful as always--We have made many a pilgrimage to Van Gogh's grave--thank you for taking us back there again.

  9. If/when I get back to Paris, I think I'd like to put Auvers on my visiting list. I know I'd be there in a heartbeat if the exhibit was still there, but that's not likely. I'd love to see that one.

    Three cheers on your Red Cross donation! I'm impressed!

  10. Your posts bring me great joy. I had the great fortune to visit France twice in the past 5 years and spent considerable time in Paris. Your photos are a beautiful reminder of our incredible experiences.

  11. LuLu..interesting. Its a very crowded cemetery with some complicated headstones though you’d never know it looking at Van Gogh’s grave, which they placed at the far end near the open fields.

    Jeanie, Please come back to Paris. I will find some catty events for you.
    The Steinlen exhibit is on till September 18. Get planning!

    Suki if the weather keeps up pack halter dresses! 🤞🙏

    Ga, the Chat Noir poster is a classic. You have a good eye.

    Nancy, I loved that cup/egg thing too❤️

  12. So many of those illustrations are familiar, but I never knew the artist’s name…Steinlen. I learn so much from your posts, Carol. Loving your latest watercolors. Beautiful. ❤️🥰

  13. Suzanne11:56 PM

    Wonderful, Carol. I wasn’t familiar with Steinen I don’t think, so thanks for the introduction. Love his art!!

  14. I love your post today. Steinen is one of my favorites-I have one of his books🐈‍⬛

  15. I had the Dover cat drawing booka long time ago..
    Wish I still had it..

  16. Thank you for your demonstrative compassion for the Ukrainian people. Blessings will come back to you, dear Lady.

  17. Yes Steinen's art is immediately recognizable.. shops carry replicas in all forms to remember a trip by too:) Van Gogh:(What a life...So impressed with your generous act of kindness♥Thos egg cups are so unique and you've captured them so well.Happy Easter.

  18. Looks like a lovely day trip!

  19. I wish I could find more of his nature/floral work--I love the ones you included here.

  20. Chloé6:16 AM

    Thank you for this wonderful article !

  21. I've been to Arles...and St-Rémy...but not yet to Auvers-sur-Oise...Your donation to Red Cross is wonderful.


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