Australian Journal of French Studies

New Rules for Old Age: Gavarni, the Goncourts and Les Lorettes vieillies

Australian Journal of French Studies (2022), 59, (1), 73–88.

Abstract

This article examines caricaturist Paul Gavarni’s lithographic series Les Lorettes vieillies and Jules and Edmond de Goncourt’s short text La Lorette as two conflicting visions of the lorette, a type of nineteenth-century prostitute celebrated in literary and visual sources. The Goncourts’ text has previously been studied for its explicit aim to break the rules around representing the lorette; this essay argues, however, that Gavarni’s little-known images were in fact more radical. Exploring the ways in which Les Lorettes vieillies humanizes the experience of the ageing lorette, a taboo topic in other sources, this article shows how the series challenges society’s norms around age and gender. Finally, one should consider Les Lorettes vieillies, published at the same time and in the same newspaper as La Lorette, as an important intertext informing the Goncourts’ own presentation of the lorette as a transgressive figure.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

SKOKOWSKI, RACHEL