A coupling of late nineteenth century French ‘bad boy’ poet Arthur Rimbaud and mid-twentieth century illustrator Suzanne Ballivet may at first sight seem a little strange, but it offers a gentler and more pastorally erotic interpretation of Rimbaud’s works than is often presented. It is interesting to compare Ballivet’s delicate pencil works with the more earthy illustrations of Elie Grekoff, which (together with more about Rimbaud) can be seen here.

It’s tempting to imagine that what Rimbaud was looking for in his chaotic life and often tortured poetry was some sort of caring maternal influence, contact with skin and flesh that could contain and meet his strong passion. Suzanne Ballivet’s characteristically rounded breasts and firm bottoms might have made all the difference.

Rimbaud’s complete works (or at least his best-known published works) with Suzanne Ballivet’s illustrations was published by Les Presses du Compagnonnage in conjunction with La Guild des Bibliophiles de la Librairie Bombaldi in a limited boxed edition of 1,000 copies.