Jeunes filles sur le chemin
Young girls on the way
Monotype on wove paper, ca. 1893
Signed lower right Steinlen
235 x 180 mm
Private collection, France
Monotypes by Theophile Steinlen are extremely rare. Ernest de Crauzat in 1913 recorded only eleven copies, to which we can add the present sheet, a portrait of Jeahn Rictus, and three tracing-paper monotypes made later in ca. 1912. The INHA in Paris has two of those recorded by de Crauzat, bought at Sagot in 1912. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France has no one.
Technically, Steinlen was obviously influenced by the work of Degas in that matter, and the first ones made by Steinlen – in 1893 – are rather close, especially in the use of the brush but not by scratching the inking as used by Degas. In the de Crauzat list, there is only one landscape, Sur la Route, which actually seems close in subject matter, with wild grass along a path, two figures (adults) and large clouds in the sky. Its location remains unknown.