Berthomme Saint-André’s second softly-erotic commission came from the Paris publisher Le Vasseur, who asked for forty-five colour plates and twelve in-text monochrome drawings to accompany a three-volume de luxe limited edition of Boccaccio’s famous Decameron. The hundred tales in the collection by the fourteenth-century Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio include many which are highly erotically charged, and Saint-André’s distinctive style was ideally suited to the project. Variety, inventiveness, colour and clever composition are here in abundance, a fitting accompaniment to Boccaccio’s timeless tales.

As with L’Ingénu the previous year, Saint-André’s nudity is limited and sexual innuendo is moderated, but there is quite enough of both to justify its inclusion here as an erotic classic.

The Le Vasseur edition of Contes de Boccace was produced in a numbered limited edition of 346 copies. Four years later, in 1935 and presumably once the Saint-André edition had sold out, Le Vasseur commissioned Mariette Lydis to produce fifty-six new illustrations for the Contes, which you can see here.