B0951. Léon Xanrof. Chansons sans-Gêne (Chansons du ‘Chat Noir’). Paris, Ondet, 1895 (4th Edition). 287pp. Couverture de Georges Cain. Beautifully illus. by T. Saint-Maurice, Bombled, M.Capy, J.Grün, Sonnier, M.de Thoren, Lourdey, etc. Most of the chansons appear with separate title page, illus. by different illustrators; poet and composer usually named. Includes mélodies. (French Text) Softbound. Beautiful contents all intact, albeit loosened pages. Minor tear on spine.
“Léon Alfred Fourneau (9 December 1867, Paris – 17 May 1953, Paris) was a French humourist, music-hall artist, playwright and songwriter. Originally trained as a lawyer he invented the stage and penname Xanrof by inversion of the Latin fornax of his French surname fourneau (‘furnace’), before finally legally changing his name to Léon Xanrof. Yvette Guilbert experienced early success singing Xanrof's songs at Rodolphe Salis' cabaret Le Chat Noir. Le Chat Noir was a nineteenth-century entertainment establishment in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. It opened on 18 November 1881 at 84 Boulevard Rochechouart by the impresario Rodolphe Salis, and closed in 1897 not long after Salis' death (much to the disappointment of Picasso and others who looked for it when they came to Paris for the Exposition in 1900).
Le Chat Noir is thought to be the first modern cabaret: a nightclub where the patrons sat at tables and drank alcoholic beverages while being entertained by a variety show on stage. The acts were introduced by a master of ceremonies who interacted with well-known patrons at the tables. Its imitators have included cabarets from St. Petersburg (Stray Dog Café) to Barcelona (Els Quatre Gats).
Perhaps best known now by its iconic Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen poster art, in its heyday it was a bustling nightclub that was part artist salon, part rowdy music hall. The cabaret published its own humorous journal LE CHAT NOIR until 1895.”
- Z. D. Akron