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

8 thoughts on “The art of Félicien Rops, 1833–1898”

  1. 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. 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. 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

Comments are closed.

Discover more from { feuilleton }

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading