Artwork Details

Théophile Alexandre Steinlen


Seventeen Cats on a Ledge
Graphite, chalk and ink on paper
21 1/8 x 29 1/8 inches
Not on view
Accession Number
Museum Purchase, Stuart and Babs Hoffius, and Jon and Carol Muth

About the Artwork

Seventeen Cats on a Ledge was created to illustrate the margins of a special four-page supplement of the weekly journal L’Illustration. The March 1901 issue, for which this was drawn, featured an article on cats by Jacques Dalbray. Théophile Steinlen’s drawing presents seventeen cats in varied poses that represent the many characteristic postures of cats. Like Degas’ dancers at the bar, the cats stretch and bend, relax and extend their agile limbs in an engaging and syncopated line of feline display. Steinlen painted this subject often and became increasingly known for his depictions of cats. They were his most notable subjects and he rendered them in prints, drawing, paintings and sculpture with and exceptional level of accuracy and understanding.