Mitja Leytho, almost certainly a pseudonym, is yet another mediocre yet fascinating amateur artist from the Germany of the 1920s about whom we know absolutely nothing beyond the four portfolios which bear the ‘Leytho’ signature.

There are a few clues. ‘Mitja’ is a Slovene first name, suggesting an eastern European provenance. The reference to the February Fasching festival in the 1923 Kalender points to a southern German setting, possibly Munich. And there are certain similarities with the equally-mysterious erotic artist ‘E. Bénis’, whose work you can see here – sad-looking men with square chins and slim women with small pointy breasts. As the 1931 Bilderlexicon der Erotik said of Bénis’s output, Leytho managed to produce ‘obscene pictures of great amateurism’, a description which describes much of the erotic illustration of the last hundred years.


Example illustration