A record of the 1852 judgement on Examen de Flora

Louis Protat (1819–81) was a minor French poet whose main claim to fame was a verse collection entitled Examen de Flora, à l’effet d’obtenir son diplôme de putain (The Examination of Flora, for the Purpose of Obtaining Her Prostitute’s Diploma), which had the misfortune to be banned and condemned by judgement of the Tribunal Correctionnel de la Seine in 1852. That didn’t prevent it being clandestinely reissued in 1864 with a suitably ‘sacriligious’ frontispiece by Félicien Rops.

The Rojan-illustrated Examen de Flora, with fourteen watercolours, was published anonymously in a numbered limited edition of 315 copies, fifteen of which included an original watercolour.

We are very grateful to the Varshavsky Collection in California for these images.