Tavy Notton’s first book erotic illustration commission, this was only the second time after Frans de Geetere’s 1925 etchings for Arthur Rimbaud’s poem about the joyous animal nature of sex that these highly explicit poems had been illustrated. You can see the de Geetere illustrations here.

The five powerful Notton images demonstrate his ability to express the fierce primal energy of raw sex; it is just a pity that there are so few images accompanying Rimbaud’s equally direct sonnets.

     Oh! de même être nus, chercher joie et repos,
     Le front tourné vers sa portion glorieuse,
     Et libres tous les deux murmurer des sanglots?

     Oh! To be naked, to seek joy and rest,
     My face turned towards its glorious reward,
     Both free, uttering murmuring sobs?

The Notton-illustrated edition of Les Stupra was published ‘Aux dépens d’un groupe de bibliophiles’ (at the expense of a group of bibliophiles), in a limited numbered edition of 185 copies.