This collection of twelve coloured engravings, known from just one portfolio titled Gavarni: Gravures (Gavarni: Engravings), is only linked with Paul Gavarni by that title. The style, both of images and captions, is fairly generic French 1840s, so they could equally be by Achille Devéria or the ubiquitous Fredillo. Given the gold blocking on the cover, however, we will give them the benefit of the doubt; they are certainly not very far in subject matter from Scènes de la vie intime, which we know are by Gavarni.
The title we have given this portfolio, Le cabinet noir (The Darkened Room), comes from one of the plates in Scènes de la vie intime.
Here are the titles of the plates:
L’agréable surprise (The Lovely Surprise)
Une partie de campagne (A Party in the Countryside)
Une complaisance (Satisfaction)
Le mardi grâce (Grateful Tuesday, a play on the annual festival Mardi Gras)
La nuit des noces (Wedding Night)
Serez-vous encore mèchant? (Want to be Naughty Again?)
Comme c’est drole! Un homme! (How Funny! A Man!)
Dam! J’oserai jamais! (Damn! I’d Never Dare!)
L’etudiant (The Student)
Cher Bichou (Dear Bichou, a common French name for a dog)
Le desire (Desire)
Oh! Quel bonheur! (Oh! What a Relief!)
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.