Armand Petitjean is not known for painting people, let alone erotic scenes such as these, but as this portfolio of lesbian fantasies bears his signature we have to believe that they are by his experienced artistic hand. They are not dated, but the style of underwear suggests late 1940s or early 50s, so they would date from a time when Petitjean was back in Paris after his wartime experiences, developing his style and reputation as an experimental abstract painter.

Amies intimes (Intimate Friends, our title) are very good drawings, well-composed and expertly executed in pencil and watercolour. Were they for his own pleasure or a commission? Drawn from life or imagined? As we know nothing of his personal life in the city of romance, we shall probably never know.

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.