Nineteenth century critics constructed an image of the artist as masculine, ignoring the fact that women were very much part of the bohemian subculture. In literary and pictorial representations, the figure of the “grisette” was consistently associated with the Latin Quarter.
The term refers to a group of independent young women who frequented Parisian cafés, posed as artist’s models, and provided additional sexual favors. The most enduring grisette is Mimi in Henri Murger’s “Scènes de la vie de Bohème,” the source for Puccini’s opera La bohème. [Read more…] about Queens of Bohemia: Laura Keene, Ada Clare & Adah Isaacs Menken