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Le Chat-Noir

  • Object:

    Colour lithograph

  • Place of origin:

    Paris, France (published)

  • Date:

    c.1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Laviny (artist)
    Fattorini et Crespin (lithographers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    colour lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the House of Worth

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case 96, shelf D, box 6

  • Image in copyright

This is one of a series of eighteen lithographs created in Paris in about 1910 by a French artist who signs himself "Laviny". Their subject matter is of beautiful women dressed in fantastical and extraordinary costumes which represent various aspects of Paris. Whilst the outfits are ultra-fashionable in silhouette, they are very exaggerated and were probably not intended to be made up in real-life, but were made to amuse and for decorative purposes. The lithographs were printed by Fattorini et Crespin of Paris.

This outfit is titled "Le Chat-Noir", and must represent the cabaret nightclub opened in Paris in 1881, that closed in 1897 soon after the death of Rodolphe Salis, its founder. It is suggested that Le Chat-Noir was the first nightclub of its type to feature a stage show as entertainment whilst serving drinks to the audience sitting at tables, rather than in theatre seats. This model is still copied widely today. Le Chat-Noir was so famous that in 1900, while visiting the Paris Exposition, Picasso and his friends were disappointed to find out it had closed. Its inclusion in these lithographs, which were created some ten years after the club closure, is testimony to its enduring fame.

Physical description

Colour lithograph showing an attractive woman dressed in an elaborate, exaggerated fancy-dress or theatrical costume representing a neighbourhood or institution of Paris. One of a set of 18.

Place of Origin

Paris, France (published)


c.1910 (made)


Laviny (artist)
Fattorini et Crespin (lithographers)

Materials and Techniques

colour lithograph

Object history note

This print is part of a very large collection of reference material including fashion plates, engravings, original drawings and illustrations that were collected by the fashion design house of Paquin at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries. Many bear the stamp of Paquin's archivist at the time. They were acquired by the V&A in 1957 when, following the closure of the combined houses of Paquin and Worth, the Worth/Paquin archives and design books were donated to the Museum.

Descriptive line

Laviny. "Le Chat-Noir". Design for a fantasy costume representing an aspect of Paris. Published by Fattorini & Crespin, Paris. c. 1910

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1957-1958 London: HMSO, 1964
The full text of the entry is as follows:

"WORTH and PAQUIN, Houses of

Designs for costumes and accessories, some with additional sketches and examples of the fabrics used; and designs for fancy dress, theatrical costume etc. c.1865-1956. Also a reference collection of fashion plates of men's and women's costume, and miscellaneous engravings, chiefly French, late 18th century and 19th century. Most mounted in volumes.
Many of the costume designs are inscribed in ink or pencil with the title identifying the dress, with notes etc. and in some cases with the name of the client.
Pencil, pen and ink and water-colour; engravings, etchings, lithographs, and process engravings.
Various sizes
E.18-21039, 21193-21321, 21581-21583, 21604-21608, 21610-21673, 21694, 21695, 21706-21713, 21728-22396, 22397(39, 40, 50-58, 60-70, 80). 22398-23026-1957

Given by the House of Worth

Note: A large collection of photographs of the dresses designed by the Houses of Worth and Paquin is in the Victoria and Albert Museum library."


Lithographic ink


Colour lithography


Designs; Fashion; Hats & headwear; Fashion plates; Women's clothes; Fancy-dress; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection code