Les Bigarrures

Les Bigarrures - Vivian DenonThis series of French illustrations from the book Les Bigarrures was first published in 1799. The works were signed by the completely unknown William C.B. Much later these artworks were attributed to Vivian Denon. Both text and illustrations were made between Denon’s return from Bonaparte’s Egyptian Expedition and his nomination as curator of the newly inaugurated Musée de Louvre under the reign of Napoleon I.

The works show a very exuberant approach to different forms of sexuality, with a focus on orgies. They seem to be produced in a rush, since most of the images lack detail and the faces of the women depicted are often clumsily drawn which is common in that era when pornographic books were mostly sold under the counter and were a welcome addition to the author’s official income.

More information on Vivian Denon you will find on Wikipedia.

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