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Chat Noir

chat noir an evocative description of the famous montmartre cafe in the nineteenth century

The red-headed dancer in the black stockings accepts a drink from one of the customers.

"Absinthe? Oui monsieur, merci. merci beaucoup."

The dancer is one of the performers at the “Chat Noir” café in the Montmartre district of Paris at the end of the nineteenth century. It is a sultry night.

"Chat Noir" is a atmospheric snapshot of one night at the famous Montmartre café, run by Georges Sands. The figures in the nightly shadow play are designed by Pierre Bonnard, and performed to music by Erik Satie.

This fascinating small volume was written and printed by Peter Grant. The illustrations in the wood-cut style are by Frances Grant and printed in several colours. Only thirty copies have been produced, letterpress printed, and signed both author and illustrator.

Size 150mm x 150mm. 12 pages.


details of chat noir a letterpress book from hestan isle press













John Horn, the poet, was so inspired and intrigued by the publication – he considers it our best yet – that he wrote the following “eulogy”-


Le Chat Noir …

breathes its story into you

its soul captured in a magic pamphlet

that whispers scenes

more real than reality.


Listen to the cadence of singing images

read the living theatre of phrases

feel the hearts of characters

more alive than life.


Behold the ethereal beauty

of exquisite graphics

that dance in their stillness

like a frozen ballet.


Turn enchanted pages

that are wondrous dreams

from which you sadly awaken.

at the conclusion

of their spell binding narrative.


John Horn 2016
















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