The scene depicts the morning after: while the teenage prostitute Marion lies asleep, Rolla broods on his fate and contemplates suicide by jumping from the window. The story is inspired by Alfred de Musset’s poem “Rolla” which reflects the dramatic situation of the society after the revolution. Artist Henri Gervex’s painting was criticized and refused by the saloon, which made the work very popular in 1878. The painting was judged indecent not because of nudity but rather the detailed depiction of the story through still life objects lying around the room..
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