As far as we know, this portfolio of ten etchings is the only erotic work that Gerhard produced, but it made its mark with the censors – it was banned in Leipzig in 1927, Munich in 1929 and Berlin in 1932, finally making it to the infamous Polunbi (Polizeipräsidium zur Unzüchtiger Bilder) catalogue of banned books in 1936 as ‘unsuitable for distribution’. By which time of course it was much too late; it had been unavailable for more than a decade.

Die Laterne (The Lantern) is an original and intelligent collection of sexual vignettes, unified by the theme of the light source which appears in different forms in each of the images. Several of them feature same-sex couplings, very much a subject of interest among freethinkers in Weimar Germany.

The titles of the engravings are:
  1   Kupplerin (Matchmaker)
  2   Das Bordell (The Brothel)
  3   Freundinnen (Female Friends)
  4   Die Geisel (The Hostage)
  5   Die Peitsche (The Whip)
  6   Kaschemme (Sustenance)
  7   Windhund (Greyhound)
  8   Die Kerze (The Candle)
  9   Freunde (Friends)
10   Schosshund (Lapdog)

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.