Towards the end of his artistic career André Collot produced a series of sixteen large drawings entitled Symphonies amoureuses (Love Symphonies), highly original ‘storyboards’ each showing all the stages of an erotic encounter. Many of the hundred sets were hand-coloured and housed in a decorative étui or folder; as many of the sets have been separated the complete original portfolio is now very rare.
There is nothing quite like Symphonies amoureuses in the annals of erotic illustration, with each sheet telling its own story, without words, in whatever order the viewer wishes. In many ways this portfolio is the pinnacle of Collot’s output.
In the mid-1960s the prolific clandestine publisher Eric Losfeld used poor-quality reproductions of Symphonies amoureuses (whether with or without Collot’s permission is unknown, though knowing Losfeld’s business practices probably not) to illustrate a mediocre surrealist pornographic novel entitled Le gorille (The Gorilla), which was originally thought to be by Losfeld, but is now known to have been written by the Greek author Ado Kyrou under the ‘Alexandre Leucade’ pseudonym.