These illustrations for Pietro Aretino’s famous poem sequence I Modi (The Positions) are yet another mystery of the history of erotic art. They appeared on the internet several years ago with no attribution or source, but are clearly by a talented hand who knew the sonnets and how to draw. Without any provenance it is hard to know whether they actually have some age – the style could place them anywhere between 1780 and 1860 – or are clever recent productions; our hunch is that they are as authentic as they seem, but if you know better let us know.

The full story of Aretino’s sonnets can be found here in the ‘Themes and topics’ section of honesterotica.

We are very grateful to our Russian friend Yuri for sharing these images.