{ feuilleton }


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


The White Peacock


The White Peacock (1910).

A typical piece of mysterious erotica by Austrian illustrator and pornographer Franz von Bayros (1866–1924). Like all good Decadents, Bayros used peacocks and peacock feathers as decorative motifs in his pictures but this is the first I’ve seen where the peacock itself is the result of amorous attention. If that sounds overly-perverse, you haven’t seen his Sweet Snail.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Kafka’s porn unveiled
The art of ejaculation
The art of Félicien Rops, 1833–1898



Posted in {art}, {illustrators}.

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6 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Dave C


    Having been a long-time fan of Von Bayros it was a pleasure to see the White Peacock on Feuilleton this morning. Sadly, the recent collection of his work in the Venus in Furs translation ‘True Decadence’ was spoiled by cropping(!) and poor reproduction. I’ve been searching for a copy of his Divine Comedy illustrations for years and have only found a grand total of ten on the web or in print, most of which are tiny. Any ideas?

  2. #2 posted by Evan J. Peterson


    The white peacock is beautiful, but Sweet Snail was alarming in all the right ways. I must further investigate this Bayros.

  3. #3 posted by John


    Dave C: I’ve waited in vain for years expecting Taschen to do a Bayros collection. They published some of his work in Erotica Universalis and they’ve done enough collections of other artists. Maybe he’s not modern enough although I suspect more that they might be concerned about the profusion of very young girls in his work.

    The only books I’ve seen to date were old and rare collections owned by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie who pastiched Bayros in Lost Girls. This was in the mid-90s when they were still working on that story and I did a pastiche of my own around the same time for a text story Alan was writing based on the life of Aleister Crowley. He ran out of steam on that, unfortunately, and my drawing–which was very large and detailed–hasn’t yet been seen in public. I didn’t know Bayros had done Dante, I’d like to see those myself. Abe.com probably has copies for sale but those would be from serious book dealers so you’d have to be prepared to pay.

  4. #4 posted by pe-jota


    erotic elegance!

  5. #5 posted by Li-An


    Were was a french book about Bayros work published in the 80′s with a lot of work and good reproduction.
    Still some french book about his work but I did not see if it’s interesting http://www.chapitre.com/CHAPITRE/fr/BOOK/von-bayros/dessins-amoureux,6257027.aspx

  6. #6 posted by charles peltz


    Dear John

    The complete illos of Von Bayros to Dante were reprinted in Italy in a book called “Figurae:Franz von Bayros per Dante” – publisher Mauro Baroni in 1997. ISBN:88-8209-025-6. It’s OK but – having the 3 original volumes published in 1911 (?) – they’re not a patch on the original illos which are subtle delicate coloured pastels and, I think, his best work although only mildly erotic but perfectly complement the text. There are 90 illos, the original 3 volume edition containing 30 illos per volume, and signed in volume 1 by the great man himself.
    Copies do occasionally turn up on the Web and sell for £1100 upward.
    Also, the 90 plates were published separately as a portfolio including – with a cancelled title page – in America of all places who had a better appreciation of all things erotic or salacious in the 1920′s/1930′s than the UK in that period.








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