Splendors and Miseries. Images of Prostitution

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Until 17th January 2016 at the musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay plunges us into the fascinating universe of prostitution with its current exhibition “Splendors and Miseries. Images of prostitution (1950-1910)”. The theme is catchy yet important, and the production of artworks on the subject is abundant – Van Dongen, Munch, Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso all frequented brothels, with some focusing on its fantasy aspects, while others put light on its more sinister side and the human vices growing within its shade.
The many faces of love for money are evoked throughout the exhibition rooms. From courtesans to streetwalkers, the works unveil codes of behavior of the 19th century, emphasizing the ambiguous status of prostitutes, may it be the occasional one or the tenant inside the brothel. It is a rich universe which unfolds before the visitor’s eyes.
This exhibition is not for the younger public, as two rooms are strictly forbidden for the under 18. Old pornographic photographs and films are shown there, revealing an impressive imagination that holds its own with anything contemporary productions have to offer.
From ‘The Olympia’ of Manet (1863) to ‘The Moulin Rouge’ of Toulouse-Lautrec (1892-1895) through ‘The Absinthe’ by Degas (1875-1876), the theme of prostitution brings together the greats amongst the modern artists in an exhibition not to be missed!

Edouard Manet, 'Olympia', 1863. Oil on canvas. 130.5 × 190 cm. credit : Musée d'orsay.

Edouard Manet, ‘Olympia’, 1863. Oil on canvas. 130.5 × 190 cm. credit : Musée d’orsay.

Infos pratiques

Musée d’Orsay

Address : 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris (RER Musée d’Orsay, metro Solférino and Asemblée Nationale)

Opening times : 9:30am to 6pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and from 9:30am to 9:15pm on Thursday

Admission fees: Full : 11 euros and discounted : 8,50 euros

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