This exhibition catalogue by the first major show on the subject of prostitution of Musée d'Orsay in Paris [september 2015-january 2016] retraces the way French and foreign artists, fascinated by the people and places involved in prostitution, have constantly sought to find new pictorial resources for depicting the realities and fantasies it implied.
From Manet's Olympia to Degas's Absinthe, from Toulouse-Lautrec and Munch's forays into brothels to the bold figures of Vlaminck, Van Dongen or Picasso, the exhibition focuses on showing the central place held by this shady world in the development of modern painting. The topic is also covered with regard to its social and cultural dimensions through Salon painting, sculpture, decorative arts décoratifs and photography. A wealth of documentary material recalls the ambivalent status of prostitutes, from the splendour of the demi-mondaine to the misery of the pierreuse (street walker).
Over de auteur:
Guy Cogeval (1955) is a French art historian specialized in the art of the nineteenth century, especially in the work of Édouard Vuillard, the nabis and the symbolists.
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