This collection of 26 pastels and watercolours, which we have called The Secret Album, was found after Bonzagni’s too-early death, and shows clearly that his interest in the foibles of human interaction extended beyond studies of high society fashion and dancers into the realm of the erotic.

Many of the artworks are set in an imagined eighteenth century rococo past, from the coquettish, innocent-looking and cheerful games of lovers, through the intrigue of ‘liaisons dangereuses’, then on into the darkest fantasies of cruel clerics and their victims, underage sex, and the margins of torture. Whatever his subject matter and the fruits of his imagination, Bonzagni brings to his erotic work all the talent, colour and inventiveness for which he is appropriately appreciated as an important figure in early twentieth century art.

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.