Splendours & miseries : images of prostitution in France, 1850-1910

Splendeurs & misères. English
Musée d'Orsay
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  • "Through painting, photography, sculpture, the decorative arts and cinema, as well as wealth of documentary material, the exhibition Splendours & miseries : images of prostitution in France, 1850-1910 is an invitation to examine in depth topics that resonate with contemporary preoccupations. Moving back and forth between the levity that we find in the shows and press illustrations of the day and the gravity of prostitution-related issues (the status of women and wasys and means to their emancipation, gender relations, sex and marriage, etc.) it shows how the clash of sex and money is a core feature of creative powers."--Page 10.


  • Catalog of an exhibition held at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, September 22, 2015-January 17, 2016, and at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, February 19-June 19, 2016.
  • "Simultaneously published in French as Splendeurs & misères. Images de la prostitution, 1850-1910."--Colophon.
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 297-299) and index.


  • Splendours and miseries : interpreting an imagery of social contradictions and sexual control / Richard Thomson -- Âpres vertiges (tough times) : prostitutional arrangements and excesses during the second half of the nineteenth century / Gabrielle Houbre -- Those women they call "girls" / Mireille Dottin-Orsini et Daniel Grojnowski -- The photographer, the model and body trafficking / Marie Robert -- Ambiguity, allure and uncertainty / Richard Thomson -- Maisons closes : the brothel as a modern subject / Nienke Bakker -- The grandes horizontales / Richard Thomson -- Fantasies and allegories of vice / Richard Thomson -- "The beautiful in the horrible" : prostitution and modernity / Isolde Pludermacher
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