Pornokrates (La Dame au Cochon), 1879

Félicien Victor Joseph Rops :: Pornokrates (or La Dame au Cochon), 1879. Signed Felicien Rops and dated 1879 lower left. Pastel, chalk, pencil and watercolour on paper. | src Sotheby’s

Pornokrates was the scandalous success of the 1886 Les XX exhibition and solidified Rops’ growing reputation as the creator of sexually-charged, titillating imagery. Although Rops provided it with a Greek title, he changed the figure’s status from that of an ancient muse of love to a modern goddess of sex. ‘Rops presents a provocative vision of modern woman. She is naked rather than nude, realistically rendered rather than demurely sensuous. Love has no place in the modern worlds; even the ancient cupids leave in tears. Blindfolded and located atop a parapet, she haughtily walks a pig, an emblem of filth and temptation. Were it not for her brazen nakedness, she might be mistaken for a proper middle-class woman walking a well-bred dog. Adorned with the accoutrements of her trade, she parades not on the boulevards that were the street walker’s domain, but above the weeping personification of the arts – suggesting that the modern prostitute is truly the new muse of the arts.’ (Sura Levine, Les XX and the Belgian avant-garde, Kansas, 1992, p. 329).

Quoted from source

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