Prostitution and "demi-monde"

Prostitution and "demi-monde”

Proletarian street walkers dreamed to become courtesans, or to achieve the even more aristocratic state of "demi-mondaines". Those women of easy virtue and quirky nicknames were also dancers, singers, models or actresses.

Between the Second Empire and the Belle Epoque, prostitution left the confined atmosphere of the brothels, taking over cabarets, theaters and the Parisian Grands Boulevards. There, women of the world, “demi-mondaines” and prostitutes mingled, composing a feminine universe which stimulated the artists’ imaginary world. In parallel, erotic images spread with the progress of the commercial photography in 1900. Brothels were banned and closed in 1946.

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