The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, May 21, 2018

Courtesans and brothels featured in large-scale exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum
Axel Rüger (director of the Van Gogh Museum) and Jake Credit’s performers look on as the final touches are made to the installation of an ornamental bed said to have belonged to a 19th-century French courtesan.

AMSTERDAM.- From 19 February until 19 June 2016, the Van Gogh Museum will present 'Easy Virtue': a sensational exhibition organized in collaboration with Musée d’Orsay about the visual presentation of prostitution in French art from the years between 1850 and 1910.

It is a theme that has never before been presented in an exhibition on such a large scale. Visitors can admire more than 100 paintings and works on paper by important artists such as Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Picasso. The exhibition will also include some unusual objects, such as an extravagant 19th-century bed. In Paris, this much-talked-about exhibition is presently considered as the absolute must-see of the season.

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. The theme was relevant because of the many social discussions about the dangers of prostitution and the pros and cons of regulating it. Easy Virtue, in the Van Gogh Museum from 19 February to 19 June, shows why this stimulating, yet at the same time complex and controversial subject appealed to artists.

Café, brothel and prison
The exhibition will include a large number of impressive and famous masterpieces by artists such as Manet, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso and Van Gogh (loans from international museums and private collections), completed with intriguing and unusual objects, as, for instance, a 19th-century police register with photos of convicted prostitutes. Visitors to this exhibition will 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.

Splendour of the courtesans
Courtesans ranked highest among the prostitutes. They were the stars of the haute prostitution and showed off their social successes by having their portraits painted, sculpted or photographed and distributing their photos everywhere. The most famous one was La Païva (1819-1884). Born Hélène Lachmann, she was a poor Jewish girl from Moscow who came to Paris and managed to become the most successful courtesan of the 19th century. She was famous for the parties and dinners that she organised for the beau monde in Paris; politicians, nobility and famous writers, such as Gustave Flaubert and Emile Zola, were her regular guests. Her opulent mansion at the Champs-Élysées in Paris, with its silver taps (which spouted both water and champagne), is still open to visitors. A few pieces of furniture from this house will be on view in the Easy Virtue exhibition. It will also include a 19th century bed, decorated with a painting of Leda and the swan, and sculptures of angels, which was probably owned by a courtesan or featured in one of the many brothels of Paris.

Easy Virtue. Prostitution in French Art, 1850-1910 is a collaboration between the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and Musée d’Orsay in Paris. In Paris, the exhibition will be presented under the title Splendeurs et misères until 17 January and with its huge number of visitors it is the absolute must-see of the season. Easy Virtue will be shown in the Van Gogh Museum from 19 February to 19 June and will be designed by Clement & Sanôu.

Today's News

February 17, 2016

Courtesans and brothels featured in large-scale exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum

Newfound Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-Antonio Salieri cantata premieres after 200-year silence

HRH The Prince of Wales becomes National Gallery's first Royal Patron; Tours Delacroix exhibition

Spain agrees to extradite $33 mn art fraud suspect Jesus Angel Bergantinos Diaz to US

Italy pits 60-strong task force of art detectives and restorers against world's heritage looters

Made in Britain at Sotheby's London: Sale celebrates the diversity of British art

Redwood Library acquires important collection of early modern architecture books

Russia rejects nomination of jailed artist Pyotr Pavlensky for state art prize

Designer to the stars Vera Wang brings Modigliani, Giacometti to New York runway

20th century art at Christie's London: Strongest sell through-rate across seven sales this season

Solo show by British artist Becky Beasley on view at Laura Bartlett Gallery

Tokyo Chuo Auction Spring Sales feature imperial treasures and rare Chinese paintings

Everard Auctions sale features Warhol, Motherwell, Wesselmann, Frankenthaler

Exhibition of works by Thomas Fougeirol on view at Praz-Delavallade, Paris

Despite the bilzzard, NY Ceramics & Glass Fair reports excellent sales

New talent joins Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences

Turner Contemporary brings work of leading Danish artist Joachim Koester to Margate

Towner announces major funding for a new cinema and auditorium for artists' projects

Art Brussels announces details of Discovery, Rediscovery and Solo sections and its flagship artistic project

Birmingham Museum of Art announces senior staff promotions

Lowe Art Museum showcases ancient Andean art in new exhibition

Early adopter: How artist David Blackburn beguiled the establishment from the first

Diversify or go bust, Spike Lee warns movie industry

Tom Friedman: Untitled (Foundation) opens at the Mead Art Museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful