Traynier’s first explicitly erotic commission came in 1945, when he was asked to illustrate a privately-published edition of La Fontaine’s more risqué tales, Le tableau suivi d’autres contes (The Painting, together with Other Tales).

The four tales included in the illustrated selection include La Fontaine’s most explicit tales – as well as Le tableau, we have Le cuvier (The Cooper), in which the visitor has sex with the cooper’s wife while her husband is examining the innards of a barrel, Le diable en enfer (The Devil in Hell), where even Old Nick has issues with female anatomy, and the self-explanatory Comment l’esprit vient aux filles (How the Spirit Gets into Young Women).

The illustrations are cleverly woven into the text in black plus highlights of magenta, ochre and green, and show Traynier to be a talented artist.

Le tableau suivi d’autres contes was published Aux dépens d’un amateur (at the expense of a collector), in a limited numbered and boxed edition of 150 copies.

We are very grateful to Philippe Isoard of Librairie In Quarto, Marseille, for these illustrations. The In Quarto catalogue can be found here; where you can buy the book if it is still in stock.