Artist: Félix-Jacques-Antoine Moulin (French, 1800–after 1875)
Date: ca. 1850
Dimensions: visible: 14.5 x 11.1 cm (5 11/16 x 4 3/8 in.)
Credit Line: The Rubel Collection, Purchase, Anonymous Gift and Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1997
Accession Number: 1997.382.46
Although Moulin was sentenced in 1851 to a month in jail for producing images that, according to court papers, were "so obscene that even to pronounce the titles . . . would be to commit an indecency," this daguerreotype seems more allied to art than to erotica. Instead of the boudoir props and provocative poses typical of hand-colored pornographic daguerreotypes, Moulin depicted these two young women utterly at ease, as unselfconscious in their nudity as Botticelli’s Venus.