Morphine Addiction, Decadence & Degeneration, and Fin-de-Siècle Paris

Season 2, Episode 5,   Aug 28, 08:00 AM

Emma and Christy use Eugène Grasset's lithograph Morphinomaniac (1897) as a starting point to talk about artistic depictions of morphine and historical opioid addiction, as well as decadence and degeneration in fin-de-siècle Parisian society. In this episode, we cover vampires, hypodermic syringes, Orientalism and Japonisme, 'dangerous' women, masturbation, pleasure, and sex work, true crime waxworks, and gendered consumption — of women, goods, and drugs.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE IMAGES WE DISCUSS, as well as complete show notes, references, and suggestions for further reading.

Eugène Grasset, Morphinomaniac (1897)
Photographs of a ‘hysterical’ woman yawning at the Salpetrière from Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpêtrière (c. 1888-1918)
Eugène Grasset, Inquiétude (1897)
Aubrey Beardsley, cover illustrations for The Yellow Book, An Illustrated Quarterly (1894)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Divan Japonais poster (1892-93)
Bernini, detail from Rape of Proserpina (1621-22)
Edvard Munch, Vampire II (Vampyr II) (1895)
Walter Sickert, Reclining Nude (Le lit de cuivre) (c. 1906)
Examples of Parisian wax work: Death of Marat at the Musée Grévin (photograph taken 1959)
Albert Joseph Pénot, La Femme Chauve-Souris ('The Bat-Woman') (c. 1890)
Luis Ricardo Falero, Vision of Faust (1878)
Eugène Grasset, Vitrioleuse (The Acid Thrower) (1894)
Katsushika Hokusai, The Waterfall Where Yoshitsune Washed His Horse at Yoshino in Yamato Province(c. 1832)
Jules Cheret, Vin Mariani (c. 1896-1900)
Jean Bernard Restout, Morpheus (Sleep) (c. 1771)
Pablo Picasso, Waiting (Margot) (1901)
Pablo Picasso, Morphinomanes (1900)
Paul-Albert Besnard, Morphine Addicts (Morphinomanes) (1887)

This season of ‘Drawing Blood’ was funded in part by the Association for Art History.
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‘Drawing Blood’ cover art © Emma Merkling
All audio and content © Emma Merkling and Christy Slobogin
Intro music: ‘There Will Be Blood’ by Kim Petras, © BunHead Records 2019. We’re still trying to get hold of permissions for this song - Kim Petras text us back!!