After the rather mediocre production of Fortunio ten years earlier, which you can see here, Bécat was no doubt relieved and pleased to be offered a second chance to illustrate this erotic classic.

French romantic writer Théophile Gautier’s 1836 novel Fortunio, ou L’Eldorado, tells of the mysterious Fortunio, ‘son of the East’, who creates for himself an oriental paradise in the heart of Paris, and whose protegés, the dandy George and Musidora, ‘she of the beautiful sea-green-eyes’, are left to wonder what of Fortunio’s world is real and what is fantasy. The Bécat illustrations, detailed and beautifully drawn, are probably the best ever produced for this colourful erotic fantasia.

The Bécat-illustrated Fortunio was published by Germaine Raoult, Paris, in a limited numbered edition of 390 copies.