“Tea and Morphine: women in Paris, 1880 - 1914”: shock therapy from famous masters

“Morphine captured Paris, and the new image of the ladies — truly terrifying — appeared on the posters of that time. And collectors loved them! ”- say the organizers of one of the most outrageous exhibitions of collection prints in the history of the Armand Hammer Museum of Art in Los Angeles.“Good girls drank tea; bad girls took morphine. In the beautiful era of Paris at the end of the XIX century, they had their own reasons for catching the buzz ”- this is another verbal masterpiece taken from the announcement of the exhibition. We are especially impressed by the contrasts of the wonderful ladies' images - actually beauties! - and their truly creepy activities. And what artists created these posters? Maybe losers who decided to shock the public with something? Far from it: Eugène Samuel Grasse, Victor Prouve are real masters! They showed life without embellishment.
“The beginning of the XIX century is considered the Golden Age in Paris, where women in elegant dresses and hats slid from theater to cabaret. The reality was more bleak, ”notes Cunty Burlingem, curator of the Tea and Morphine: Women in Paris, 1880–1914 exhibition. “Desperate women resorted to prostitution and morphine use, and both classes were legal,” she continues. LithographyLithography, along with monotype, belongs to the group of flat printing techniques, but this is where their similarity almost ends. Lithograph appeared in 1796 or 1798, thanks to Johann Alois Senefelder, a typographer from Munich. Initially, the imprint was taken from a drawing on a stone — usually limestone — slab, from which the name of this method came (from other Greek meaning λθος "stone" + γράφω "writing, drawing"). Now, instead of a lithographic stone, zinc or aluminum plates are used, which are easier to process. Read more Eugene Grasse (see above) with a picture of a cocotte that lowered its stocking for something even more terrible than its oldest profession, occupation - it turns out was the emblem of time.“The subject is disgusting, but the“ treatment ”is quite aesthetic: in the style of work - from Japanese motifs to the art-nouveau lines” - the curators of the exposition continue to explain the art component. Everything is considered in a purely aesthetic way: shocking attracts attention, and then - a matter of technology, and in the literal sense. According to the presented works, you can explore how the artists of that time experimented with techniques, style and directions, honing their skills on engravings.Actually, the presented collection is basically a private collection of the Elisabeth Dean Collection, which the public could only see back in 1986, and it has since grown considerably. To the attention of the stunned visitors - prints from other private collections (“They were not usually exhibited, but kept at home, showing selected guests” - Cynthia), as well as posters and posters of famous artists (for example, Sarah Bernard), books, programs and other exhibits of that era. .Epatage? Excursion? Story? The cruel topic - let's not hide it - caused our curiosity. "Just a shock" - this is the comment of the guest exposure. We represent its strength, if even just the images of the morphine women are so frankly frightening, drawing the eyes. In addition to the exhibition, the lectures Morphine, Sex and Freedom are held.