|This painting was later acquired by a French collector who thought preferable to hide it behind a sliding panel on which had been painted a much decent work. It ended up in the collection of a famous psychiatrist who however seldom cared to show it to close friends before it was acquired by the Orsay Museum where the public can now admire it.
We thus had to wait until the end of the 20th Century to have the privilege of seeing such a work of this kind in a museum and such fact demonstrates that it took the world a long time to get rid of rigid and stupid taboos.
During the 19th Century many painters had however tried to by-pass moral rules in producing what we may call permissive works, notably Corot, Ingres, Toulouse-Lautrec and several other academic artists but they always had to be careful about the themes they were choosing in order not to shock the public.
Years later, an artist like Picasso was much attracted by sex themes and produced numerous suggestive or lustful works. Still, there are not many artists who followed in his footpath and certainly not more than a few dozens, including Schiele, Klimt, Grosz, Pascin, Balthus, Rodin, Camille Claudel, Delvaux, Warhol or John Kacere who are worth to be mentioned nowadays.
As a conclusion, sex somewhat remains in some way a forbidden theme, a kind of barrier that provokes sheer hesitation when it comes to represent it and most artists do not have the will or the courage to go beyond was is acceptable in the eyes of the public and even in theirs. Adrian Darmon