In 1968 the specialist print publisher Merlin Verlag in Hamburg commissioned three artists – Johannes Vennekamp, Arwed Gorella and Uwe Bremer – to produce portfolios of etchings inspired by selected works of the Marquis de Sade. For the second series (hence De Sade 2) Gorella chose characters from Aline et Valcour, Justine, and La crime d’amour.
Apart from Juliette, and Madame de Verquin and Ernestine (from La crime d’amour), all the – male – characters have faces created from the bodies of naked women, neatly encapsulating the all-encompassing sexuality with which de Sade’s men are obsessed. In this way Gorella cleverly uses an Arcimboldo-inspired technique to create detailed images which work on several levels of observation.
De Sade 2 was published by Merlin Mappe in a limited numbered edition of 100 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.