As with so many talented artists of the late nineteenth century, a tantalisingly small number of Hendschel’s erotic drawings have survived, but enough to show that he was no prude when he chose to depict sexual scenes. His drawings, both in subject matter and style, seem remarkably modern, and if we imagine them being made about the time of his infatuation with Marie Becker in the 1860s they demonstrate a mature understanding of sexual intimacy. Hendschel may have made his living from more acceptable subject matter, but he must surely have sampled the carnal pleasures of Paris and Rome during his travels.
Here we have the few erotic images that have survived – they include The Young Squire (amor feudalis), The Farmer (amor rusticus), a happy foursome, and a number of dildos (godmiché is French for dildo) and strap-ons. How modern is that?
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.