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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Pornokrates[1], also known as Pornocratie, is a 1879 etching by Félicien Rops. The word pornokrates is made up of porno and -cracy, which refers to an age of pornocracy, namely "rule of harlots".

It depicts a blindfolded woman being led by a pig on a leash. For some the pig with the golden tail represents the image of luxury and lucre steering the woman, whose only excuse is her blindness; for others, it is the image of man, bestial and stupid, kept in check by the woman. This image of the pig, as well as those of the puppet and the pierrot are shared by many of Rops’s contemporaries.

Pornokrates heralds the advent to the art world of the contemporary woman which Rops glorified. She is characterised by her arrogance, her composure and her ruthlessness.

In a letter to his friend Henri Liesse, he described the painting:

"My Pornocratie is complete. This drawing delights me. I would like to show you this beautiful naked girl, clad only in black shoes and gloves in silk, leather and velvet, her hair styled. Wearing a blindfold she walks on a marble stage, guided by a pig with a "golden tail" across a blue sky. Three loves - ancient loves - vanish in tears (...) I did this in four days in a room of blue satin, in an overheated apartment, full of different smells, where the opopanax and cyclamen gave me a slight fever conducive towards production or even towards reproduction". --Letter from Rops to Henri Liesse, 1879.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pornocrates" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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