Although Alwine Hotter was primarily a painter, she believed strongly that a true artist should be able to work in a wide variety of media, so tried her hand at a range of graphic media as well as trying her hand at carpentry and metalwork. She produced several sets of linocut prints, including this one, Liebesleben der feinen Gesellschaft (The Love Life of High Society), which tells a story of the battle between propriety and lust.

It is probably the closest she came to producing a truly erotic portfolio, but it shows that she certainly knew about the world of male clubs and high society madames with their ‘training regimes’. The stark imagery and deliberately rough edges leave us in no doubt of the emotional and physical conflicts just under the surface of polite Austrian society.

The titles of the thirteen prints are:

  1   Der feine Takt (The Proper Tact)
  2   Die Lebedame (The Woman of the World)
  3   Auf Ausschau (On the Lookout)
  4   Das Voll-und-Rasseweib der feinen Gesellschaft (The Perfect High Society Woman)
  5   Die Lehrmeisterin (The Instructress)
  6   Dressur (Training)
  7   Die spiritistische Sitzung: Berührungen (The Spiritualist Session: Contact)
  8   Herrengesellschaft (Gentlemen’s Society)
  9   Der Kavalier: ‘Soeben habe ich die Baroness Toska défloriert’
          (The Cavalier: ‘I Have Just Deflowered the Baroness Toska’)
10   Eine Liebesnacht (A Night of Love)
11   Wahrung des aüsseren Scheins (Keeping Up Appearances)
12   Der Wohlttätigkeitsbazar (The Charity Auction)
13   Das Geschenk: ‘O! Verflucht, jetzt müssen wir uns révanchieren’
          (The Result: ‘Damn It, Now We Have to Deal with the Consequences’)

Liebesleben der feinen Gesellschaft was privately printed in an edition of 500 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.