Christian Krohg: Albertine in the Police doctor's waiting room (1885-1887)

(National Gallery, Oslo, Norway)

A painting by the Norwegian artist Christian Krohg (1852 – 1925). This painting shows a scene from the Krohg’s novel Albertine (1886). The book tells the story of the seamstress Albertine who ends up s forced into prostitution due to the social system of the time. Albertine is at some point forced to undergo the compulsory police-controlled gynecological medical exam that prostitutes had to subject themselves to. The painting shows Albertine at the moment she is called by the doctor with the other prostitutes awaiting their turn. In the book the scene is a turning point for Albertine who looses all her shame and becomes a prostitute. The book itself was confiscated shortly after its publication by the police and Krohg was sentenced to pay a fine but it succeeded in starting a public debate. About 2 years after the publication of the book the Norwegian government started to end the social problems described in the novel. Painting from 1885-1887.