Paul Verlaine’s Oeuvres libres consists of three collections of poems published in 1890 and 1891 – Les amies, sonnets in praise of lesbian love; Femmes, homage to Verlaine’s women friends and lovers; and Hommes, inspired by his homosexual experiences. The perfect vehicle for erotic illustration, many illustrated versions have appeared, including this stylish 1950 edition for which no artist details are given. The eight imaginative and well-executed full-colour prints are accompanied by two sanguine (red-brown) versions of the coloured plates, three new sanguine plates and a frontispiece.
This edition was published in Paris ‘Aux dépens des Amis du Callibistris’ (at the expense of the Friends of Callibistris), ‘callibistri’ being a French slang term for the external sexual organs of both women and men. 243 numbered copies were produced.