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.
These women, famous not only for sex-appeal but also for their talents—and for a spirit which today we would call ‘entrepreneurial’— fascinated both their wealthy patrons and the artists who created the world’s great masterpieces.
But who were they? How did they rise to their positions? And how did they maintain their prominence despite their scandalous reputations?
To find out, join us as we explore the lives and loves that lie behind the paintings. On this fun and informative 2-hour Metropolitan Museum tour, we will learn about:
-the first nude female statue in ancient Greece and the hetaera who modeled for it
– the oiran of the pleasure quarter of 18th century Tokyo
– a Venetian courtesan who published books of poetry
– the official royal mistresses of the French kings
– a royal bastard who is the ancestor of many English aristocrats
– and the grandes horizontales of Belle Epoque Paris
And so much more…
Come discover the racy and intriguing backstories behind the Metropolitan Museum’s collections. Shady Ladies Tours will change the way you see the museum—and art itself—forever.