If you attempt to discover anything about an artist called Marc Vincent, the clearly talented creator of a set of sixteen watercolours for a mid-1960s edition of Les nuits chaudes du Cap Français, the notorious 1902 novel about Caribbean philandery, you will find nothing. This is because there never was an artist of this name, so as it is clearly an alias the search is on for a real artist with the skill and style apparent in these illustrations.

The 1966 Cap Français was published by the short-lived Paris publishing house Éditions Germaine Raoult, run by Germaine Raoult (1904–76), which from its base at 19 rue Turgot, not far from the Gare du Nord, produced a dozen or so stylish volumes. During the 1950s Germaine Raoult produced several erotic classics illustrated by Paul-Émile Bécat, including a 1953 edition of Cap Français, but it would appear that after Bécat’s death in 1960 his illustrations were no longer available when she wanted to reissue the title, so she needed to find a new illustrator for the 1966 edition.

So we come back to ‘Marc Vincent’, and what appears to be a dead end. Though published in 1966, the watercolours have more of a 1950s feel, so had Germaine Raoult had them sitting in the office for a while? If you have any clues as to the true identity of this elusive artist, we would love to hear from you.

Example illustration