Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art and Design

First Advisor

Dr. Maria Gindhart

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Richmond

Third Advisor

Dr. Gregory Moore


This essay will examine the new attitude with which nineteenth-century artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec approached the subject of prostitution. Toulouse-Lautrec’s focus on the subject culminated with his production of the Elles series in which he offers a look into how the prostitutes lived within the brothel, the mundane aspects of everyday life. This series shows how these women were confined by their surroundings and is a divergence from the typical approach to depicting the maison close and the prostitute depicted by artists like Edgar Degas. By looking at his previous works on the subject and works by Degas one begins to see how Toulouse-Lautrec offers a new viewpoint.