Jambes (Legs), 1965, Molinier’s favourite subject

From the 1920s to the end of the 1940s, Molinier’s painting was figurative – landscapes of Lot-et-Garonne, still lifes and portraits, notably of his daughter Françoise. His search for structure, colour and light brought him to Impressionism, while his portraits are more evocative of Expressionism. It was in the 1940s that he began to produce more ambiguous and provocative drawings and paintings.

As well as several poems by André Breton, Molinier also produced illustrations for fellow Surrealist writer Joyce Mansour. But he mostly produced drawings and paintings, as he explained, ‘for my own stimulation. It is only in this way that I can satisfy my leg and nipple fetishism. The legs of either sex arouse me equally – as long as they are hairless and in black stockings.’

Many of the drawings shown here are studies for Molinier’s paintings. The titles and dates of the paintings are:
     Amour (Love), 1928
     La dame blonde (The Blond Woman), 1928
     Les amants à la fleur (Flower Lovers), 1948
     Comtesse Midralgar, 1950
     Holocauste (Holocaust), 1950
     Succube (Succubus), 1950
     Le grand combat (The Great Confrontation), 1951
     Le retour des vendanges (Harvest Home), 1952
     La fleur de Paradis (The Flower of Paradise), 1955
     Les femmes actuelles sont (Contemporary Women), 1955–65
     Le pas de quatre (Four-Step), 1960
     Le réveil de l’ange (The Angel’s Awakening), 1960
     Succube No. 1 (Succubus No. 1), 1960
     Susinella, 1960
     Ce qui est solonnel (That Which is Solemn), 1962
     Ah, les V (Ah, the V), 1962
     Courbillard No. 6, 1962
     Culminate, 1962
     Les jumelles amoureuses (The Lover Twins), 1962
     Petit bec, l’oeuf d’amour (Little Beak, The Egg of Love), 1962
     Le miroir (The Mirror), 1964
     Le grand combat No. 2 (The Great Confrontation No. 2), 1964
     Les amoureuses (The Lovers), 1965
     Oh Marie, mêre de dieu (Oh Mary, Mother of God), 1965
     Exémaly, 1969
     La communion d’amour (Communion of Love), 1971
     Le Baphomet, 1971 (Baphomet is a deity allegedly worshipped
          by the Knights Templar)