Abbé Perrin (Director of...
If, for more than a century, the identity of the woman who posed for Gustave Courbet’s notorious painting The Origin of the World remained a mystery, it was recently discovered that she was in fact a dancer, and more specifically, a dancer from the Paris Opera. It is thanks to the research of Claude Schopp that we can now put a name to one of the most famous nudes in the history of painting: Mademoiselle Constance Quéniaux. She entered the Opera as a dancer at the age of fourteen and apparently became the mistress of a Turkish-Egyptian diplomat by the name of Khalil-Bey, who also happened to be the painting’s first owner.
Partners of the Paris Opera’s 350th anniversary
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Sponsor of the Paris Opera Academy
Institutions associated with the 350th anniversary