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Édouard Manet’s ground-breaking Olympia (1863) is often cited as a key work in the birth of modern art. His portrayal of a naked prostitute who unashamedly meets the viewer’s eye confronted Parisians with a reality they would have preferred not to acknowledge; that sex for money was a quintessential part of modern life – and one that was not confined to the elegant, and exclusive, courtesan.

To read more on the BBC:

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