Notor’s Lysistrata


Earlier this week, a friend online (hi Wendy) suggested that if American politicians continue to insist on punitively interfering with the female body it might be time for women to deprive the same men of pleasurable access to those bodies. I directed her to the plot of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the most celebrated example of withholding sexual favours in order to effect political change. Aristophanes’ play is a comedy but the protest can be quite serious, as a group of Kenyan women demonstrated in 2009.


These illustrations are from a French translation by Charles Marie Zévort published in 1898. The illustrator was “Notor”, better known as the Vicomte Gabriel de Roton, who specialised in imitating the decorative style of art from Ancient Greece. The subject matter may be bawdy but you wouldn’t really know it from the illustrations. For drawings that honour the details of the story it’s necessary to look to Aubrey Beardsley.


Notor’s Lysistrata can be downloaded at the Internet Archive. There’s a French site about the artist here with examples of his other work.

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