This series of forty Zichy erotic engravings is the best-known collection; there are also some twenty or thirty others known to exist, together with a handful of watercolours on similar subjects. The original publication of this series of drawings appeared in 1911 in Leipzig, privately printed in an edition of three hundred numbered copies exclusively for subscribers. There was never a second printing, as the copper plates used for printing the drawings were destroyed. The portfolio was reproduced by Grove Press in 1996.
Zichy’s drawings are characterised by their realism and their variety, characteristics usually associated more with the 1920s and 30s than the 1870s. There are few subjects he avoided; he appears to be equally comfortable with every kind of ‘straight’ sex, plus masturbation, gay sex, sex while pregnant, and childhood experiences of sexual awakening. Whatever his subject, there is always a refreshing warmth and honesty, which is why they remain as relevant to human experience now as when they were created.