An’Aphrodite (To Aphrodite) appears to be the only portfolio of erotic prints that Schwalbach created, made during his time as part of the Sema Group. That period also saw him produce a second portfolio, Zehn Original Steinseichnung (Ten Original Engravings), which were more symbolic-mythical in nature.

Schwalbach’s period of engraving detailed scenes like this in black and white was very short-lived, as after Sema was dissolved n 1913 his output was almost exclusively of large stylised paintings, which art critic Michaela Pappernigg has generously described as ‘groups of nudes in landscapes whose delicate, muted colours conjure up a lyrical mood that can be compared with magical realism’.

The engravings in An’Aphrodite have the following titles:

1   Amazone (Amazon)
2   Cupidos Ziel (Cupid’s Aim)
3   Entführung (Kidnapping)
4   Freundinnen (Girlfriends)
5   Frühlingserwachen (Spring Awakening)
6   Leda (Leda)
7   Reicher Verehrer (Rich Admirer)
8   Wundergarten (Wonder Garden)
9   Schwesternliebe (Sisterly Love)

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.