Albertine or the invasion of the public into private life

The National Gallery in Oslo has a number of famous paintings in its permanent collection. One of them is a large painting titled Albertine i politilægens venteværelse [Albertine visits the police doctor], nowadays referred to simply as ‘Albertine’. It was painted by Christian Krohg in 1887 and depicts a number of prostitutes in front of the police doctor’s office, where they were required to go in order to be checked for venereal diseases. If these were detected, the prostitute’s work license was not renewed. Prostitution was a recurring topic in Krohg’s painting and his Albertine caused quite a scandal when it was first published and quickly confiscated by the police.

 

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