Historical Moment

The years between 1885 and 1900 are called the “Belle Époque” (beautiful era) of Paris, because of relative prosperity and enjoyment of the arts. There was also a “demi-monde” (half-world) of dancers at the Paris Opera or clubs like the Moulin Rouge in Montmartre. They were sometimes prostitutes or mistresses of wealthy men, as described in Colette’s famous novel Gigi.

French embassy