Nationalmuseum Opens Lust & Vice Exhibition

The Nationalmuseum in Stockholm presents Lust & Vice a major exhibition filling three rooms and five display cases. Over 200 works from the 16th century to the present day, mostly little-known treasures from the museum’s own collection, will illustrate how views of sexuality, virtue and morality have changed over the centuries. Exhibition on view 24 March 2011–14 August 2011

The exhibition presents examples of how virtue and sin have been depicted in art through the ages. One of the display cases examines how girls were brought up to lead a virtuous life in order to be good marriage material. Exhibits include a real chastity belt on loan from Nordiska museet. One wall in the first room displays paintings of women’s bottoms – an erotic reference that was long considered sinful because sex, besides taking place inside marriage, required eye contact in order to be morally acceptable. Artists managed to paint erotic motifs by portraying myths or biblical scenes, often with moralistic undertones alluding to the consequences of a sinful lifestyle.

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