press release

The depiction of prostitution in French 19th-century art has never been explored in such depth.
During the second half of the 19th century, prostitution was a favourite subject of the visual arts. Artists enthusiastically depicted prostitution as an aspect of modern life in the city of Paris and they painted women soliciting on the boulevards, wealthy courtesans in their salons and the prematurely aged prostitutes in brothels.

Intriguing themes
Four intriguing themes take you back to Paris in the Belle Époque. Enter the dance halls and cafés where women picked up their customers, as well as the hidden world of brothels and prisons where illegal prostitutes and women with venereal diseases were locked up.

Printmaking lent itself perfectly to risqué subject matter like prostitution. The intimate character meant that these prints tended to live a hidden life in the portfolios of private collectors. A selection of them is being exhibited at the same time as Easy Virtue.

Exhibition catalogue
The colourful catalogue demonstrates and explores the exhibition's fascinating subject even further. The book is available in English and Dutch.