Of all the artists and illustration sets on this website, this is the only portfolio universally attributed to an artist whose style is certainly recognisable in the illustrations, but who almost certainly did not execute them.
Peter Fendi was an Austrian painter, engraver and lithographer. He was a child prodigy and was accepted into the St Anne’s Academy of Fine Art in Vienna when he was just thirteen. As well as being a much sought-after society portrait painter, he was also a pioneering printer, designing Austria’s first multi-coloured banknotes in 1841.
The collection of forty erotic lithographs for which Fendi’s name is best known did not appear until nearly seventy years after his death, short enough for his name and artistic reputation to be remembered but long enough to avoid too much scrutiny of their true origins. Without a doubt they are in the style of Peter Fendi, and it is a very well crafted and beautiful series of prints; even though no other erotic work by Fendi was known to exist, the attribution stood for many years.
Vierzig erotische Aquarelle was published in 1910 in Vienna, in a numbered edition of 600 copies.