Monday, July 4, 2016

43 Paintings of Courtesans of Paris, as portrayed by the Artists from 1850-1910 - Part 1 - Behind the Scenes

Musée d'Orsay, Splendour and Misery. Pictures of Prostitution, 1850-1910; The Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art, The Whore, the Bawd, and the Artist: The Reality and Imagery of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Prostitution; BBC, Prostitution was a central part of daily life in late 19th Century Paris, The Culture Trip LtdArt’s Illicit Muses, The Huffington Post, 14 Classic Artworks That Are Way More Erotic Than You Remember, Van Gogh MuseumEasy Virtue: Prostitution in French Art, 1850–1910.

It seems that since the Musee dÓrsay's Exhibition, everybody had something to say! Here are some Paintings that were in the exhibition, and others.


Jean-Louis Forain
The Jardin de Paris, c. circa 1882
Oil on panel 

Jean-Louis Forain (23 October 1852 – 11 July 1931) was a French Impressionist painter, lithographer, watercolorist and etcher. He began his career working as a caricaturist for several Paris journals including Le Monde Parisien and Le rire satirique. He  enrolled at the École des Beaux Arts, studying under Jean-Léon Gérôme and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. Forain was the youngest artist to frequent and participate in the feverish debates led by Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas at the Café de la Nouvelle Athènes in Montmartre.

Forain joined the Impressionist circle in time to take part in the fourth independent exhibition in 1879; he participated in three of the four landmark shows that followed between 1879 and 1884. His work focused on Parisian popular entertainments and themes of modernity—the racetrack, the ballet, the comic opera, and bustling cafés. 

Jean-Louis Forain (1852–1931)
The Jardin de Paris, c. circa 1884
Oil on canvas
54.9 x 45.7 cm


Aside from being influenced by Edgar Degas, Forain was greatly influenced by Honoré Daumier. In 1892 he published the first volume of La Comédie Parisienne, a collection of Forain's illustrations and commentary on the major stories political stories that disrupted France’s Third Republic—such as the anarchic crisis and the Dreyfus affair. In 1891 Forain married the painter Jeanne Bosc with whom he had a son, Jean-Loup, born in 1895.



During the first World War, Forain's illustrations honored the patriotism of his contemporaries. In 1931, shortly before his death, he was made a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. He was one of France's best known and revered artists during his time and may best be remembered for his numerous drawings chronicling and commenting on Parisian city life at the end of the 19th century. Followers and admirers of Forain's work include Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. More

Louis Anquetin (1861–1932)
Woman at the Champs-Élysées by night, c. (1889 - 1893)
Oil on canvas
H. 83.2; W. 72.5 cm
Van Gogh Museum

Louis Anquetin (26 January 1861 – 19 August 1932) was a French painter; born in Étrépagny, France and educated at the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen.

In 1882 he came to Paris and began studying art at Léon Bonnat's studio, where he met Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The two artists later moved to the studio of Fernand Cormon, where they befriended Émile Bernard and Vincent van Gogh.

Around 1887, Anquetin and Bernard developed a painting style that used flat regions of color and thick, black contour outlines. This style, named cloisonnism by critic Edouard Dujardin, was inspired by both stained glass and Japanese ukiyo-e.

He eventually fell from the public's eye after abandoning the modern movements, opting instead to study the methods of the Old Masters. Thus, Anquetin's works following the mid-1890s, such as Rinaldo and Armida, were especially Rubensian and allegorical in nature. More

Soliciting was prohibited in broad daylight, but was legal for registered girls at nightfall when the streetlamps were lit. This coincided with knocking-off time for women in the workshops in which some occasional prostitutes were employed. Prostitutes may have cultivated an air of ambiguity during the day, but their appearance gradually changed as the urban landscape, illuminated by gas lamps and later by electricity, was transformed. More

Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
In a café or L’Absinthe, c. 1873
Oil on canvas
92 × 68.5 cm (36.2 × 27 in)
Musée d'Orsay

Edgar Degas (19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917) was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, preferring to be called a realist. He was a superb draftsman, and particularly masterly in depicting movement, as can be seen in his renditions of dancers, racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation.

At the beginning of his career, Degas wanted to be a history painter, a calling for which he was well prepared by his rigorous academic training and close study of classic art. In his early thirties, he changed course, and by bringing the traditional methods of a history painter to bear on contemporary subject matter, he became a classical painter of modern life. Moe

Unlike his Impressionist friends, Degas was an essentially urban painter, who liked to paint the enclosed spaces of stage shows, leisure activities and pleasure spots.

In a cafe, a fashionable meeting place, a man and a woman, although sitting side-by-side, are locked in silent isolation, their eyes empty and sad, with drooping features and a general air of desolation. The painting can be seen as a denunciation of the dangers of absinthe, a violent, harmful liquor which was later prohibited. More

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864-1901
Moulin de la Galette, 1889
Oil on canvas
35 7/8 x 39 5/8 in. (88.5 x 101.3 cm)
Art Institute of Chicago

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa (24 November 1864 – 9 September 1901), also known as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, was a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator whose immersion in the colourful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 19th century allowed him to produce a collection of enticing, elegant and provocative images of the modern, sometimes decadent, life of those times. More

With this painting of the dance hall known as the Moulin de la Galette, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec established his reputation as the painter-chronicler of the entertainments of Montmartre. In this well-known image, Lautrec employed the wood barrier as a metaphorical divide between the frenzied action of the dance hall, seen as a blur in the background, and the stillness of the bored and waiting women (accompanied by a proprietary male) in the foreground. More

James Tissot, born Nantes, France, 1836; died Buillon, France, 1902
The Shop Girl, c. 1883 – 1885
Oil on canvas
146.1 x 101.6 cm
Art Gallery of Ontario

Jacques Joseph Tissot (French: [tiso]; 15 October 1836 – 8 August 1902), Anglicized as James Tissot (/ˈtɪsoʊ/), was a French painter and illustrator. He was a successful painter of Paris society before moving to London in 1871. He became famous as a genre painter of fashionably dressed women shown in various scenes of everyday life. He also painted scenes and characters from the Bible. More

Tissot's painting "The Shop Girl" depicts a young woman holding the door for, and looking directly at the viewer, who has presumably just purchased the item in the red package. More

Frantisek Kupka (1871-1957)
Gigolette, c. 1909-1910
(A woman who seeks the company and support of rich, older men)
 National Gallery Prague

František Kupka, (born September 23, 1871, Opočno, Bohemia — died June 24, 1957, Puteaux, France). A pioneer of abstract painting and one of the first completely nonrepresentational artists. His mature works contributed much to the foundations of purely abstract painting in the 20th century.

Kupka studied at the Prague and Vienna art academies and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he settled in 1895. In 1908–11 he experimented with Fauvism and with pointillism, a technique invented by the French painter Georges Seurat, whose colour-contrast theories led Kupka to study the aesthetic properties of colours. More

In working-class circles, women who had modest jobs – such as manual workers, milliners, florists or laundresses – were too poorly paid to afford decent accommodation or feed themselves adequately, especially if they had a family to support. Some therefore occasionally resorted to prostitution to supplement their earnings. The way in which passers-by turn to stare at Dagnan-Bouveret's Laundress seems to suggest that they sense the young woman’s sexual availability. More

Jean-Louis Forain
Gentlemen of the Opera (also known as The Dance Studio), circa 1887-1890
Oil on canvas 
Height: 60.96 cm (24 in.), Width: 50.8 cm (20 in.)

A superb illustrator who at his best approached the satiric bite of Honore Daumier, he saw the backstage world at the Paris Opera as a cesspool of corruption -- specifically by the abonnes, or wealthy male season subscribers, who had free access to the backstage and would often use it to cruise for assignations with the young, poverty-wage dancers. It was, in Forain's view, a rank abuse of privilege, often made worse by the pandering of stage mothers looking for financial security in the form of wealthy "clients" for their daughters' favors. More

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Jean-Louis Forain
The Dancers, circa 1925
Oil on canvas 
Height: 64 cm (25.2 in.), Width: 84 cm (33.07 in.)

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Jean-Louis Forain
Behind the Scenes
Oil on canvas 
60.33 cm (23.75 in.), Width: 73.34 cm (28.88 in.)

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Jean-Louis Forain
The Dialogue
Oil on canvas 
70 cm (27.56 in.), Width: 55.3 cm (21.77 in.)

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Jean-Louis Forain
Intermission on Stage, c. 1879
Gouache, pencil, India ink on wove rag paper
Height: 35.24 cm (13.88 in.), Width: 27.15 cm (10.69 in.)
Dixon Gallery and Gardens - Memphis, TN

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Jean-Louis Forain (1852–1931)
The Admirer, c. 1872/1886
Oil on canvas mounted on wood
15.2 x 20.3 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX.

Following Degas’ many paintings of dancers and ballet, Forain started to produce his own interpretation of the sordid relationships between rich, much older men and the young girls, in paintings, such as his above.

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, Albi 1864–1901 Saint-André-du-Bois)
The Englishman (William Tom Warrener, 1861–1934) at the Moulin Rouge, c. 1892
Oil on cardboard
33 3/4 x 26 in. (85.7 x 66 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

William Tom Warrener, an English painter and friend of Lautrec’s, appears as a top-hatted gentleman chatting up two female companions at the Moulin Rouge, the dance hall that epitomized the colorful and tawdry nightlife of fin-de-siècle Paris. The women’s suggestive attitudes—and Warrener’s ear, reddened in embarrassment—indicate the risqué nature of their conversation. This painting served as a preparatory study for a color lithograph of 1892. More

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, see above

Jean Béraud (1849–1935)
The Wait
Oil on canvas
56 × 39.5 cm (22 × 15.6 in)
Musée d'Orsay

Jean Béraud (1849–1935)
The proposition. c. 1890
Oil on canvas
 55 x 38 cm
Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France

Jean Béraud (January 12, 1849 – October 4, 1935) was a French painter, noted for his paintings of Parisian life during the Belle Époque. He was renowned in Paris society due to his numerous paintings depicting the life of Paris, and the nightlife of Paris society. He also painted religious subjects in a contemporary setting. Pictures of the Champs Elysees, cafés, Montmartre and the banks of the Seine are precisely detailed illustrations of everyday Parisian era of the "Belle Époque". More

Streetwalkers blended into the crowd, detectable only by their words, actions (a skirt lifted to reveal a glimpse of ankle boot), contrived poses or eloquent expressions (a hint of a smile, a furtive or meaningful look) as depicted in the works of Boldini and Valtat.

Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931)
Crossing the Road
1873-1875
Oil on panel
H. 46.2; W. 37.8 cm
Williamstown, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Giovanni Boldini (31 December 1842 in Ferrara, Italy – 11 July 1931 in Paris, France) was an Italian genre and portrait painter. According to a 1933 article in Time magazine, he was known as the "Master of Swish" because of his flowing style of painting. More

These fluid, intangible identities fascinated artists, who recreated the ambiguous climate of modern Paris in works where their contemporaries recognised the variously encoded allusions to the world of prostitution. More

Jean Béraud (1849–1935)
The Milliner on the Champs Elysées
Oil on canvas
45.1 × 34.9 cm (17.8 × 13.7 in)

Jean Béraud (1849–1935), see above

At one time, a job as a seamstress was a respected position. Honour was an important draw as it could help to better marriage prospects. Mechanization and foreign competition led the demise of the skilled artisans who were previously employed in those trades. The skilled and gentle seamstress of former days now became a low class factory worker often with questionable morals. For many decades, the seamstress had been romanticized as a paragon of female virtue. The idealized image would soon be shattered. Hardship took its toll. Prostitution offered a far more profitable trade which took considerable moral strength to resist. More

Jean-Louis Forain
Parisian Soiree, circa 1878
Watercolor, gouache, pencil and India ink on wove paper
Height: 26.04 cm (10.25 in.), Width: 31.91 cm (12.56 in.)

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Edouard Manet, 1832 - 1883
Masked Ball at the Opera, Dated 1873
Oil on canvas
59.1 x 72.5 cm (23 1/4 x 28 9/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art

Édouard Manet (23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a French painter. He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art. More

These elegant men and coquettish young women are attending a masked ball held each year during Lent. "Imagine," ran a description in the newspaper Figaro, "the opera house packed to the rafters, the boxes furnished out with all the pretty showgirls of Paris. . . . " There is little doubt about the risqué nature of the evening, where masked young women, likely respectable ladies concealing their identities, scantily clad members of the Parisian demimonde, and well–dressed young men all mingle together. 

Manet sketched the scene on site, but painted it over a period of months in his studio. More

Henri GERVEX, (Paris 1852 - id. 1929)
Masked Ball at the Opera, Paris
Oil on canvas 
H. 0,85 m; W. 0,63 m

Henri Gervex (Paris 10 December 1852 – 7 June 1929) was a French painter who studied painting under Alexandre Cabanel, Pierre-Nicolas Brisset and Eugène Fromentin. His early work belonged almost exclusively to the mythological genre, which served as an excuse for the painting of the nude, but not always in the best of taste. His Rolla of 1878, based on a poem by Alfred de Musset, was rejected by the jury of the Salon de Paris for immorality, since it depicted a scene from the poem of a naked prostitute after having sex with her client.
Gervex afterwards devoted himself to representations of modern life and achieved signal success with his Dr Péan at the Salpétrière ("The Operation"), a modernized paraphrase, as it were, of Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson. More

Eugène Giraud (1806–1881)
Le bal de l'Opéra, c. 1866
Oil on Canvas
Carnavalet Museum

Pierre François Eugène Giraud (August 8, 1806 – December 28, 1881) was a French painter and engraver. He painted one of the best known portraits of writer Gustave Flaubert. He won many awards and honors in recognition for his work. More

The extravagant masked costume balls that were held throughout Paris during the six weeks before Ash Wednesday and the Lenten restrictions were one of the city\' s most talked about spectacles. From midnight to five a.m., for the price of a ticket (balls at the Opera were the most expensive at 10 fr, each), daring young women of the demi-monde (worldly, trendsetting young women whose conduct or lack of family pedigree set them apart from the traditional French social elite) could mix with men of aristocratic, financial and political prominence who flocked to the events. More

Jean-Louis Forain
The Ball, c. 1885
Watercolor, lack chalk, pastel, pencil and black ink on heavy wove rag paper
Height: 44.2 cm (17.4 in.), Width: 29.1 cm (11.46 in.)
Dixon Gallery and Gardens - Memphis, TN

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Georges Bottini
AT THE BAR: THE WOMAN IN WHITE (AU BAR: LA FEMME EN BLANC), c. 1904
Watercolor On Paper
14 5/8 x 10 5/8 in.

Georges Alfred Bottini , born in Paris on 1 st February 1874 , December died on 16 1907, is a French painter, draftsman and engraver. He was born in Paris and continues her life in Montmartre . Coming from a very modest background, he left school early. At eighteen he was employed by the famous restaurateur Gatti. He regularly attends the galleries of the Louvre, admiring Titian, Giorgione and dreamt of a impossible trip to Italy. In 1899, while not yet twenty-five, he exhibited at the gallery Kleinmann , which brought together fifty of his watercolors, but yhis early recognition did not allow him to escape from poverty. 

He was a man perpetually in search of new forms of art, yet appreciated the old masterpieces; remaining hours meditating Goya, Watteau, Rembrandt, Velasquez. He would remain a small exquisite master, curious, delightfully sad. Its share of glory is certain. " 5

The Petit Palais museum of Geneva has many works Bottini. More

Jean-Louis Forain
A Night at Maxim's, circa 1907
Oil on canvas 
Height: 59.8 cm (23.54 in.), Width: 73 cm (28.74 in.)

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Jean-Louis Forain
Cafe Maxim, Paris
Oil on canvas 
60.3 cm (23.74 in.), Width: 73.7 cm (29.02 in.)

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Édouard Manet (1832–1883)
Bar in den Folies-Bergere, c. 1881-1882
Oil on canvas
96 × 130 cm (37.8 × 51.2 in)
Courtauld Institute of Art

Her name is Suzon. She is the mysterious young woman at the bar of the famous circus-nightclub where the trendy monied class could go for their amusement. There has been much speculation that she is a victim of a very unjust social system that entraps women of lower classes into forced sexual availability for the men she encounters in her job.

“A Bar at the Folies-Bergere” was Manet’s last painting. More

Édouard Manet (1832–1883), see above

Edouard Manet, 1832-1883
Bar in den Folies-Bergere, c. 1881
Oil on canvas
47 by 56cm.
18 1/2 by 22in

Depicting what is arguably the most famous theme of Manet’s œuvre as well as one of the most iconic images of the Impressionist movement, Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère is an earlier version of his celebrated oil of the same title, now in the collection of the Courtauld Gallery, London (Above). More

Édouard Manet (1832–1883), see above

Jean-Louis Forain (1852–1931)
The Bar at the Folies-Bergèr, c. 1878)
Opaque watercolor with graphite underdrawing on paper
31.8 × 19.7 cm
Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY.

Jean-Louis Forain (1852–1931), see above

Forain’s gouache view of The Bar at the Folies-Bergère (c 1878) was painted several years before Manet’s much more famous painting (1882). I do not know whether Manet saw Forain’s, and if he did, whether it was of any influence. Forain shows the reflection of the barmaid, but much of the reflection is taken over by his characteristic brush marks. More

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec, French; 1864—1901
At the Moulin Rouge, 1892/95
Oil on canvas
123 x 141 cm (48 7/16 x 55 1/2 in.)
Art Institute of Chicago

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa (24 November 1864 – 9 September 1901), also known as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, was a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator whose immersion in the colourful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 19th century allowed him to produce a collection of enticing, elegant and provocative images of the modern, sometimes decadent, life of those times. More

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's association with the Moulin Rouge began when it opened in 1889 and the owner bought the artist's Equestrienne as a decoration for the foyer. Lautrec populated this scene with portraits of the habitués and regulars of the dance hall, including himself—the diminutive figure in the center background—accompanied by his cousin and frequent companion, the physician Gabriel Tapé de Céleyran. The woman on the right is the scandalous English singer May Milton. At some point, the artist or his dealer cut down the canvas to remove her from the composition, perhaps because her shocking appearance made the work hard to sell. In any case, by 1914 the cut section had been reattached to the painting. More

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864 - 1901 (1864 - 1901)
At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance, c. 1890
Oil on canvas
Height: 1,156.97 mm (45.55 in). Width: 1,499.62 mm (59.04 in).
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec, see above

Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
Dancers, c. 1900
Pastel with charcoal on tracing paper mounted on cream wove paper
Princeton University Art Museum

Edgar Degas (19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917) was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, preferring to be called a realist. He was a superb draftsman, and particularly masterly in depicting movement, as can be seen in his renditions of dancers, racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation.

At the beginning of his career, Degas wanted to be a history painter, a calling for which he was well prepared by his rigorous academic training and close study of classic art. In his early thirties, he changed course, and by bringing the traditional methods of a history painter to bear on contemporary subject matter, he became a classical painter of modern life. Moe

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Le Goulue and Valentin, the 'Boneless One', circa 1891
Charcoal and oil on dark cream wove paper
Musée Toulouse-Lautrec  (France - Albi) 

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, see above

Emile Bernard (1868-1941) 
Au cabaret, c. 1887
oil on canvas 
16½ x 19½ in. (41.8 x 49.5 cm.) 
Painted in 1887 
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France

Émile Henri Bernard (28 April 1868 – 16 April 1941) was a French Post-Impressionist painter and writer, who had artistic friendships with Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Eugène Boch, and at a later time, Paul Cézanne. Most of his notable work was accomplished at a young age, in the years 1886 through 1897. He is also associated with Cloisonnism and Synthetism, two late 19th-century art movements. Less known is Bernard's literary work, comprising plays, poetry, and art criticism as well as art historical statements that contain first hand information on the crucial period of modern art to which Bernard had contributed. More

1887 was a pivotal year in Emile Bernard’s artistic development, for it was in November of that year that he exhibited together with Vincent van Gogh and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec at the Grand Restaurant-Bouillon on the  Boulevard de Clichy. Leading to this exhibition, Bernard had been devising a new painting style in collaboration with Louis Anquetin that made use of bold tonal contrasts and flat plains of block colour. Bernard’s amalgam of the stylistic innovation of Van Gogh and contemporary Parisian subject matter of Toulouse-Lautrec made for a fantastic visual dialogue in his œuvre at this time. More

Jean-Louis Forain
La Belle Véronique, c. 1877
Watercolor
38.56 cm (15.18 in.), Width: 26.51 cm (10.44 in.)
Dixon Gallery and Gardens - Memphis, TN

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Jean-Louis Forain
The Look, c. 1892
India Ink (pen and brush), red conti, blue watercolor
Height: 13.13 cm (5.17 in.), Width: 9.5 cm (3.74 in.)
Dixon Gallery and Gardens - Memphis, TN

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Jean-Louis Forain
Leaving the Theater, Night-Time Scene, c. 1885
Gouache, watercolor, black pastel on heavy wove paper
Height: 32.39 cm (12.75 in.), Width: 25.4 cm (10 in.)
Dixon Gallery and Gardens - Memphis, TN

Jean-Louis Forain, see above

Émile Bernard
Cabaret Scene (also known as Julie the Red Head), c. 1887
Oil on board
Height: 56 cm (22.05 in.), Width: 73.5 cm (28.94 in.)

Émile Bernard, see above

When the sun went down in 19th-century Paris and lamp-lighters lit the gas lamps, it was time for “absinthe hour”. The elegant daytime flâneurs strolling Haussmann’s grand boulevards had disappeared and were replaced by the ladies of the night.

From the darkest corners of the French capital, thousands of brightly dressed and giddy moths emerged to flirt and solicit clients on the cafe terraces and in cabarets such as the Folies Bergère and Moulin Rouge. More

Pablo Picasso
Prostitutes at a Bar, 1902
Oil on Canvas
80.0×91.5 cm
Hiroshima Museum of Art


Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, also known as Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973), was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. One of his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907).

Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a naturalistic manner through his childhood and adolescence. During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. His work is often categorized into periods. While the names of many of his later periods are debated, the most commonly accepted periods in his work are the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919), also referred to as the Crystal period.

Exceptionally prolific throughout the course of his long life, Picasso achieved universal renown and immense fortune for his revolutionary artistic accomplishments, and became one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art. More

Under the influence of the artists of fin-de-siècle, and owing also to the shock of a friend’s death and other circumstances, the young Picasso went through a period lasting from 1901 to 1904 in which he painted themes symbolizing the tragic nature of human existence in various shades of blue. In this work, the backs of two women slouched together in a dingy bar are incised by deep shadows that seem to represent the heavy burdens of humankind.

Pablo Picasso
Femme assise (Melancholy Woman), c. 1902-03
Oil on canvas
100 x 69.2 cm
The Detroit Museum of Art, Michigan

Pablo Picasso, see above

TOULOUSE-LAUTREC, Henri de (b. 1864, Albi, d. 1901, Château Malromé, Langon)
Private Room in the "Le rat mort", c. 1899
Oil on canvas
55 x 46 cm
Courtauld Gallery, London

HENRI TOULOUSE-LAUTREC, see above

Émile Bernard 
Brothelscene, c. 1888
Watercolor
Height: 31 cm (12.2 in.), Width: 20 cm (7.87 in.)
Van Gogh Museum  (Netherlands - Amsterdam)

Émile Bernard, see above

Edvard Munch
Young Man And Prostitute
Charcoal, gouache, paper
47.8 x 50 cm

Edvard Munch (12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon some of the main tenets of late 19th-century Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. One of his most well-known works is The Scream of 1893. More

Edvard Munch was a prolific yet perpetually troubled artist preoccupied with matters of human mortality such as chronic illness, sexual liberation, and religious aspiration. He expressed these obsessions through works of intense color, semi-abstraction, and mysterious subject matter. Following the great triumph of French Impressionism, Munch took up the more graphic, symbolist sensibility of the influential Paul Gauguin, and in turn became one of the most controversial and eventually renowned artists among a new generation of continental Expressionist and Symbolist painters. Munch came of age in the first decade of the 20th century, during the peak of the Art Nouveau movement and its characteristic focus on all things organic, evolutionary and mysteriously instinctual. More

The frequent preoccupation in Munch's work with sexual subject matter issues from both the artist's bohemian valuation of sex as a tool for emotional and physical liberation from social conformity as well as his contemporaries' fascination with sexual experience as a window onto the subliminal, sometimes darker facets of human psychology.



Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

Acknowledgement: Musée d'Orsay, The Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art, BBCWikipediaThe Culture Trip LtdThe Huffington Post Van Gogh Museum,