Tuesday, January 31, 2023


This is supposed to be a postcard (French, no doubt) from 1910
showing a model taking a turn at being the artist.



  1. Yes, most definitely French. How to paint with panache...

    1. I should know this by now, but did people actually send those through the mail?

    2. No, certainly not as a "postcard". That would have led to prosecution - as it would today. I don't know what the law of the time would have permitted by way of transit under plain cover. These would have been "under the counter" purchases or circulated through the private clubs that were frequented by artists, photographers or the outright gay, where there was a noticeable cross-over. Homosexual relations were not illegal in France since the inception of the Napoleonic Code. Under the law of "associations" of 1901, private member clubs - to which the public could gain access at invitation - abounded. That "invitation" could be no more than a knock on the door. I remember going to gay bars under this legal regime before full laws of equality became statutory. This meant that behind "closed doors" most things were possible - provided they were out of sight. The French also make a clear distinction between the "erotic" and the "pornographic" which the Anglo Saxon world finds confusing. If this "postcard" was art, it was art. If it was art with a "purpose", it was "erotic" and thus permitted. Where the boundaries lay shifted. I would have thought that erections and even simulated poses of a sex act would have been deemed pornographic. Whether the above image was deemed art or art with a purpose is anyone's guess, but it would have been easily available in the right places.

    3. So much of the mail is automated today, I doubt that anyone would have noticed, but back then . . .

    4. Erinnert mich eine Zeit in einem diskreten Privatclub in Wien. Sehr exklusiv, mit Cocktails und leichten Mahlzeiten und Unterhaltung von College-Jungs, die in Oel ringen, und Bodybuildern, die in Codpieces posieren. Die Barraum war wunderschon, mit venezianschen Spiegeln, Rokoko -Lampen und Boudoir-Gemalde von nackten Mannern !
      All dies in einem Jugendstilgebaude in der Nahe des Justizpalastes.