Nearly all of Max Kislinger’s erotic work is in the form of bookplates or Ex Libris, almost certainly because he wanted these private commissions not to interfere with his civil service work and his growing influence as an authority in folk art. However, as can be seen from these beautifully executed designs, mostly woodcuts but also some paintings, he was very aware that there was a strong tradition of earthy eroticism entwined with the folk art of his native country. His ‘Ex Libris: Eroticis’ series spans at least three decades, and combines witty composition with strong lines and bright colour to evoke a culture that had minimal shame around matters sexual.

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.