Esther Lachmann hustled her way from the Moscow ghetto to the top of society in 19th Century Paris – enchanting artists, writers and royalty along the way.
She claims: “I don’t like to follow the crowd. I like to seduce, with images that are at once disturbing and beautiful, but leaving a space for the viewer to enter my world. My portraits combine elements which evoke conflicting emotions that can surprise the viewer, telling a story that is somewhere between fantasy and reality, the obvious and the unexpected.”
Maison Souquet is one of the multiple Parisian secrets. Once a pleasure house during the belle époque, today it’s an extraordinary hedonistic palace with a Jacques Garcia décor as indulgent and spirited as the illustrious courtesans it once housed. The 20 rooms ooze romance – guests can privatise the spa and the clandestine cocktail bar is wickedly pleasurable.
The French poet Charles Baudelaire once declared: “What is art? Prostitution.” Throughout history, artists have used prostitutes as models and muses for their artwork. While this long practice has in the past been an ignored fact, some artists choose to imply or even outright declare who the subject of their work is. From Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s colourful pastels to Egon Schiele’s erotically charged sketches, here is a pick of the eight most famous artworks featuring prostitutes.
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