When the Vienna publisher Carl Stern commissioned Franz von Bayros to produce twelve prints for a two-part erotic portfolio entitled Die Bonbonnière (The Candy Box), which you can see here, he also asked Emil Ranzenhofer to produce a parallel set of etchings to be sold alongside the better-known von Bayros. Hesitant to publish erotic material under his own name, Ranzenhofer created the alter ego of Emil Sartori to produce this series of extremely explicit images. The series features probably the only penguin ever to appear in an erotic portfolio, together with one of the very few elephants.

As with the von Bayros prints, the Sartori/Ranzenhofer etchings were accompanied by short poems and texts by Franz Biel (1871–1942), here under the pseudonym Amadée de la Houlette – a man of many noms de plume, Biel also went by the soubriquets of Medardus, Dr Peregrinus Steinhövel, Franciscus Amadeus, Gussie Mc-Bill, Prokop Templin, Heliogabal, Nikodemus Schuster, and Hans Adolar.

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.