My doctoral thesis is titled ‘Art, Medicine, and Femininity: Images of Habitual Morphine Use(rs) in French Visual Culture, c.1884-1914)’. The research considers the representation of morphine addiction in French art and visual culture at the turn of the twentieth century. The thesis uncovers and analyses over fifty images of morphine use(rs), the majority of which have never before been discussed in scholarship. Ranging from Salon-approved and modernist paintings, to caricatures, lithographs and wax models, these works were created by artists living in Paris. Through an analysis of art, newspapers, medical texts, and novels, the thesis investigates the origins and implications of the repeated characteristics used by artists in this visual culture. Even though the morphinomane (morphine addict) has been neglected in existing scholarship on French history, feminism and journalism, the thesis shows that this visual culture impacted societal issues far beyond the so-called morphine epidemic.
My future research will focus on images of opium use(rs) and the impact of the colonisation of Indochina by France on this visual culture.