Marquis de Sade..
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An unreconstructed libertine who made debauchery into high art or a vile pornographer who tried to justify rape, murder and paedophilia?From Flaubert to Baudelaire, the influence of the Marquis de Sade on writers is well documented, but a new exhibition in Paris sets out to explore how the 18th-century nobleman has also influenced artists over the past two centuries.Sade's notoriety rests on his novel "The 120 Days of Sodom" about sexual depravity, murder and paedophilia.The novel -- a draft of which was written in 1785 while Sade was being held in Paris' Bastille prison -- details the sexual orgies of four wealthy French libertines who rape, torture and finally murder their mostly teenage victims.The exhibition delves into the influence Sade exerted over artists such as Eugene Delacroix, Edgar Degas, Francis Bacon, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Pablo Picasso.Twentieth-century artists featured Picasso and Bacon.
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