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ÉDOUARD CHIMOT Portraits of 1920s Parisian Prostitution and Addiction

Édouard Chimot rose to fame as an artist who captured Paris’ seedy underbelly in the early 1900s. His subjects were the “jeunes et jolies femmes” who lived in Montmartre, the artists’ district. The women he painted were almost all prostitutes and addicts since paying them for the night was cheaper than hiring an artist’s model. As such, Chimot’s portraits have an air of melancholy erotica, and many of them bring figures of death and sin to play with the beautiful nude women as they smoke opium, drink alcohol, and sell their bodies. His compositions have a fuzzy romantic quality to them, which is why he later became a sought-after erotic artist for extremely expensive, limited-edition books of erotica in the early 1920s. No doubt these images of sexy impoverished young women appealed to the very rich men who collected the books; an idealized view of what was happening in Paris’ poorest quarters. Yet Chimot’s portraits are very compelling, whatever the reality behind what he was capturing was.

Via Dangerous Minds

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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