Fotografo non identificato, stampa all’albumina inserita in un album a soffietto

The Museum will virtually bring to your homes a selection of photographs coming from our archive. Every week you will discover new images.

Prostitutes of a brothel in Bologna, late 19th century – early 20th century.

Unidentified photographer, albumen print on cardboard pasted into an accordion photo album.

This photograph is part of a group of twenty images of prostitutes inside brothels of Bologna (North-West of Italy), given by professor Paolo Pellacani to Cesare Lombroso that exposed them in the Museum of Psychiatry and Criminal Anthropology he founded in 1898.

In 1893 Lombroso publishes with Guglielmo Ferrero Criminal Woman, the Prostitute, and the Normal Woman, the first book ever written on female crime. According to the authors, prostitution was the most common crime among women. In full contrast with the requests for civil and political rights coming from the Women’s Rights Movement, they view the female gender as inferior.