Im Spiegel (In the Mirror) is one of two explicitly erotic lesbian portfolios created by Lene Schneider-Kainer in the early 1920s and published in very small editions by Wolfgang Gurlitt; the other is Zehn weibliche Akte (Ten Female Nudes), which unlike Im Spiegel consists only of single figures in more conventional (and modest) poses.

The title of the portfolio suggests a degree of self-reflection of the artist’s own sexual identity and imagination, both as the inhabitant of a female body and looking at that body in relation to other women. The result is some of the most honest and endearing drawings from the early years of Weimar Berlin, sensitively drawn and tenderly coloured.

Lene Schneider-Kainer in 1915

Im Spiegel was published by the Gurlitt Press in an edition of just twenty numbered copies.

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.