{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


The art of Félicien Rops, 1833–1898


Pornokrates (1878).

After Mr Peacay’s comments regarding Félicien Rops I thought it time to devote a post to this impious artist.

Rops, a Belgian working in Paris, is curious even by the standards of the disparate group who comprised the Symbolists and with whom he had some connections. Whereas many artists of the time might hint at a fashionable blasphemy or Satanism, Rops’ dealings with these subjects were unequivocal, as was the outright pornographic tone of many of his drawings. This can make much of his work seem modern in a way few artists of that period achieve today, and it’s a good bet that many Christians (especially those of the puritan American variety) would still find his pictures offensive. These weren’t the only works that Rops produced, there were plenty of landscapes and society portraits, but it’s these that he’s remembered for. Once again, posterity favours the forthright and the unique over uniformity and compromise.

The Félicien Rops Museum
Les Diaboliques by Barbey d’Aurevilly (1874): 8 illustrations
Gallery of pornographic drawings at Arterotismo


The Temptation of St Anthony (1878).


Sentimental Initiation (1887).


Calvary (1882).


The Sacrifice (1882).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The etching and engraving archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Fantazius Mallare and the Kingdom of Evil
Angels 4: Fallen angels



Posted in {art}, {painting}, {religion}, {symbolists}.

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8 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Wiley


    I’ll admit that as campy as it is, ‘Calvary’ is my favorite of his pictures. The only book of his I’ve ever found in a bookstore didn’t have it (I bought it anyway). Did you get this picture out of a particular book?

  2. #2 posted by John


    Calvary was from a website (if you click on it you’ll get a larger version) but I have it in Taschen’s Erotica Universalis, a great collection of art porn through the ages. That book also includes a colour version of The Sacrifice.

  3. #3 posted by Wiley


    Taschen is undoubtedly one of the best. Thanks.

  4. #4 posted by Rosa


    God damn me living in this silly eastern-European country where I can’t find anything…Love Felicien Rops…He’s one of my favorite artists in the world. Could someone tell me if I could order Taschen albums from the internet? Thanks

  5. #5 posted by John


    Hi Rosa,

    Amazon are still selling Erotcia Universalis (very cheap as well) which contains a good selection of Rops’ pictures.


    They also do a collection of Symbolist art but the Erotica book has the more salacious pictures.

  6. #6 posted by Filip


    Hi Rosa,

    You might be living in stupid eastern European country but I bet google is working overthere too. I myself live in Czech Rep and took me about 5 minutes to find this pearl: http://www.kacur.cz/index.asp?menu=1109&record=8787
    So maybe I am just lucky or you are just …

  7. #8 posted by Hilary Gerrish


    We have ver 100 etchings and prints for sale by Rops. Please visit gerrishfineart






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