When this portfolio of 56 loose plates was published in Paris in the mid-1930s, the art world was an exciting and innovative place to be. The Modernist movement was in full swing, and Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Constructivism and Primitivism all vied for the future. Alongside these strands, Erotism was becoming an acceptable aspect of art, with aesthetic and moral considerations beyond the standard demure nude of classical painting. Picasso, Van Dongen, Krohg and Launois had been ‘discovered’, and commissions from publishers kept artists like Daragnès and Vertès busy.

Alongside the 56 plates (some are double, hence the 70 images shown here) is a typically wordy and rather pretentious introduction by the art critic André Salmon. ‘We simply aim,’ he writes, ‘to bring together illustrations of the most diverse talents of contemporary art, to show the part held by eroticism in the customs of a time expressed by an entirely renewed art, and when moralists – condescending to the point of journalistic controversy – are uncertain and in such remarkable disagreement.’

The most important aspect of this collection is to demonstrate the range and diversity of what was considered both erotic, and generally acceptable, during this flowering of sensual art nearly a century ago.

Here are the artists and works included (titles in italic are books in which the illustrations were included):
     Rodolphe-Théophile Bosshard, Nude, 1935
     Pablo Picasso, Les deux amies (The Two Friends), 1904
     Jean Émile Laboureur, Léda, 1928
     Jean Émile Laboureur, À rapture (In Rapture), 1927
     Alexandre Alexeieff, Les frères Karamazoff (The Brothers Karamazov), 1929
     Carlègle (Charles Émile Egli), Lysistrata, 1928
     Jean Cocteau, Le livre blanc (The White Book), 1928
     Jean-Gabriel Daragnès, Gamiani, 1920
     Jean-Gabriel Daragnès, Moralités légendaires (Legendary Moralities), 1922
     Luc-Albert Moreau, Nu semi-habillé (Semi-clothed Nude), 1930
     Christian Krohg, Nude, 1930
     Christian Krohg, Les debutantes (The Debutantes), 1931
     Moïse Kisling, Grand nu rouge (Large Red Nude), 1929
     Tsuguharu Foujita, Nu allongé (Reclining Nude), 1930
     Tsuguharu Foujita, Deux amants (Two Lovers), 1931
     André Favory, Le Crystal-Palace d’Anvers (The Crystal Palace of Antwerp), 1929
     Marcel Vertès, Les aventures du Roi Pausole, 1932
     Charles Martin, Contes et nouvelles de La Fontaine, 1930
     Miklós Farkasházy, L’entrée (Entrance), 1929
     Miklós Farkasházy, Sucreries (Sweets), 1929
     Roger Wild, Danseuses (Dancers), 1930
     Roger Wild, À la mode (Fashionable), 1930
     André Dignimont, Le mouchoir (The Handkerchief), 1928
     Mariette Lydis, Dialogue des courtisanes (Dialogues of the Courtesans), 1930
     André Lhote, La négresse impudique (The Shameless Negress), 1928
     Jules Pascin, Au lit (In Bed), 1932
     Hermine David, Les nuits chaudes du Cap Français
(Hot Nights at Cap Français), 1927
     Hermine David, Les nuits chaudes du Cap Français
(Hot Nights at Cap Français), 1927
     Maurice Savin, Baigneuse (Bather), 1930
     André Édouard Marty, Scènes mythologiques (Mythological Scenes), 1924
     André Rouveyre, Phèdre, 1910
     Chas Laborde, Les demons de l’arrière-boutique
(The Demons of the Backroom), 1923
     Jean Launois, Deux filles de la casbah (Two Girls of the Kasbah), 1934
     Miçao Kono, Les amoureux (Lovers), 1933
     Kees Van Dongen, Venise, seuil des eaux (Venice, Soul of the Waters), 1925
     Paul Colin, Nude, 1934
     Paul Colin, Nude, 1930
     Albert Marquet, Deux amies (Two Friends), 1912
     Luc-Albert Moreau, Images cachées (Hidden Figures), 1928
     Luc-Albert Moreau, Images cachées (Hidden Figures), 1928
     Constantin Terechkovitch, Nina de Tabarin, 1930
     Carlègle (Charles Émile Egli), La fermière nue (The Naked Farmwife), 1928
     Jean-Gabriel Daragnès, Les amies (The Friends), 1919
     Chas Laborde, La bienheureuse Raton, fille de joie
(Blessed Raton, Daughter of Joy), 1931
     Marcel Gromaire, Nu avec manteau (Nude with Coat), 1929
     Jean Cocteau, Le grand écart (Doing the Splits), 1921
     Moïse Kisling , Nu allongé sur un canape bleu (Nude Lying on a Blue Sofa), 1931
     Tsuguharu Foujita, Deux amants (Two Lovers), 1929
     André Dignimont, En offre (On Offer), 1931
     Marcel Vertès, L’amour venal (Corrupt Love), 1926
     Raoul Dufy, L’amour (Love), 1911
     Charles Martin, Nude, 1930
     André Collot, Contes de Boccace (Tales of Boccaccio), 1930
     André Collot, Contes de Boccace (Tales of Boccaccio), 1930
     Louis Touchagues, Trois femmes (Three Women), 1934
     Édouard Chimot, Les chansons de Bilitis (Songs of Bilitis), 1925
     André Lhote, Léda, 1930
     Jules Pascin, Sœurs (Sisters), 1931
     Sylvain Sauvage, Les liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), 1930
     Georges Kars, Dans le bain (In the Bath), 1932
     Georges Kars, La chaise (The Chair), 1933
     Luc-Albert Moreau, L’étreinte (The Embrace), 1934
     Gus Bofa, L’Hôpital Marie-Madeleine, 1928
     Francisque Poulbot, Montre moi (Show Me), 1934
     Francisque Poulbot, S’occuper des enfants (Looking After the Children), 1934
     Kees Van Dongen, Le chapeau noir (The Black Hat), 1930
     Gustave Buchet, Les amies (The Friends), 1921
     Gustave Buchet, Les amies (The Friends), 1921
     Gregorio Prieto, Dans les ruines (In the Ruins), 1933
     Gregorio Prieto, Dans les ruines (In the Ruins), 1933

L’érotisme dans l’art contemporain was published by Librairie des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.