An additional original drawing tipped into one copy of Erotische Grotesken

Very few copies of this Pipifax portfolio have survived, and many of those which have are incomplete. We are fortunate to be able to include the complete contents of one of the presentation copies.

These twelve prints are part of a tradition of grotesque erotic art which started in France in the nineteenth century by artists like Eugène Lepoittevin and Martin van Mäele, and by the 1920s had become well-established in Germany by Willi Geiger, Laszlo Boris and Walter Klemm among others. On one level they are pure satire, but they also represent a deeper questioning of the place of sex in conventional bourgeois culture, especially the relationship between the sexes. In many of these images, male genitalia have become emasculated and female genitalia correspondingly alarming, mirroring the deep questioning about sexuality and gender roles that was going on in the wider society.

Eleven of the twelve images have titles, which are as follows:

  1   (no title)
  2   Belastungsprobe (Endurance Test)
  3   Die Schaukel (The Swing)
  4   Entjungferung (Defloration)
  5   Varieté (Variety Show)
  6   Wiederbelebungsversuche (Resuscitation Efforts)
  7   Der Lustmolch (Greedy Salamander)
  8   Der Windhund (The Greyhound)
  9   Je-länger-je-lieber The Longer the Better)
10   Der Damenschneider (The Dressmaker)
11   Erotische Gewächse (Erotic Undergrowth)
12   Die Auster (The Oyster)

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.