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).
Please note that some of the pieces presented in the exhibition may be shocking to some visitors (particularly children).
CuratorsMarie Robert and Isolde Pludermacher, curators, Musée d'Orsay
Richard Thomson, Professor of Art History, Edinburgh University,
Nienke Bakker, curator, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
ScenographyRobert Carsen, set designer and art director
The exhibition can also be seen at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam from 19 February to 19 June 2016