Very few of Emmerich Hruška’s woodcuts have survived, but fortunately his 1927 portfolio Les 10 érotiques (The Ten Erotics) allows us to experience his bold technique and colourful imagination, from a period when he was very active in the Prague arts scene.

Each of these hand-coloured prints (and being hand-coloured every portfolio was slightly different) provides much to think about, even though the designs might at first seem simple and even simplistic. The pink-brown phallus and bright red-purple vulva motifs thread through the series in a dancing interplay of erotic symbolism and energy.

It is not known how many copies of this portfolio were made, but from the few that survive it was clearly a very limited edition.

We are very grateful to Hans-Jürgen Döpp for these images; Hans-Jürgen, the compiler of many books on erotic art, curates the Venusberg online gallery and bookshop which you can find here.