The Greek playwright Aristophanes’ best-known play, first performed in Athens in 411BC, is about Lysistrata’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War. She persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace. All does not go according to plan, but the play is notable for being an early exploration of sexual relations in a male-dominated society.
When the upmarket Paris publishing house of Le Vasseur commissioned Collot to produce illustrations for a new edition of Lysistrata, they probably asked him to scale back the nudity and concentrate on the humour. As you can see, they mostly succeeded, and the result is one of Collot’s most accessible illustration portfolios.
The Collot-illustrated Lysistrata was published in a limited numbered edition of 350 copies.
We are very grateful to Philippe Isoard of Librairie In Quarto, Marseille, for these illustrations. The In Quarto catalogue can be found here; where you can buy the book if it is still in stock.