Courtesans, royal mistresses, scandalous women of every sort—the walls of the Metropolitan Museum are lined with them, from ancient Greek ‘hetaerae’ to Sargent’s Madame X and beyond. These sexy women—often also intelligent, educated, wealthy, or even powerful—were key members of the political and cultural elites of their time, fascinating patrons and artists alike, from Praxiteles to Titian to Manet. But who were they? What were their stories? To find out, join us as we explore the lives and loves that lie behind the paintings.
– Learn about the complex cultures of high-end prostitution in ancient Greece and the Italian Renaissance,
– Representations of Venus and their relationship to ladies of the night,
– Royal mistresses in France and England,
– The overwhelming presence of prostitutes (high and low end) in French 19th century society and art,
– Scandals about sexy women and art in 19th century America.
Your Host, Professor Andrew Lear:
A beloved teacher at Harvard, Columbia and NYU, Professor Lear won the Harvard Certificate for Excellence in Teaching four times. With his extensive cultural background, his groundbreaking work on the history of sexuality, and his long experience of travel, Professor Lear strives to provide our guests with tours that are intellectually stimulating, culturally rewarding and, above all, fun! Ticket price includes museum admission.
1000 5th Ave
Manhattan, New York 10028