Sipping a cup of chocolate while bathing in an elegantly decorated room might seem like the epitome of refined pleasure. In eighteenth-century Europe, however, both chocolate consumption and bathing were associated with danger as well as delight. Through a discussion of "The Bath," a 1774 print by the Swiss artist Sigmund Freudenberger, this essay considers how preoccupations with status, health, and sexuality shaped the meanings of two activities that were avidly cultivated as prestigious leisure pursuits and just as avidly contested as threats to the physiological and social order.
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