One of French writer Guy de Maupassant’s best stories, written in 1881, La Maison Tellier tells of the madame of a small-town brothel in Normandy who receives an invitation to her niece’s confirmation from her brother, who knows nothing of her ‘business’. She decides to take her five girls with her, and her regular patrons are taken aback when they discover the establishment is closed without explanation.

La Maison Tellier is an obvious candidate for any artist looking for a lightly-titillating narrative to illustrate, and great artists including Edgar Degas and Alméry Lobel-Riche – which you will find elsewhere on the site – have produced notable portfolios. None, however, match Guillaume Berteloot’s emphasis on the sexual activities of Madame Tellier’s girls and their clients, which stretches Maupassant’s narrative well beyond the original text, and turns it into as much of a sex manual as a light and witty short story.