[Chinese school]. A suite of ten erotic paintings.

[China, Qing Dynasty, mid-19th century].

A suite of 10 erotic scenes, watercolour and gouache on pith paper. Ca. 300 x 190 mm, within silk ribbons, individually matted, framed and glazed (415 x 315 mm). Stored in two custom-made morocco-backed clamshell cases with gilt spines.


A collection of paintings depicting pornographic scenes of - frequently acrobatic - intercourse (one, a threesome; another involving a "wheelbarrow" game; yet another showing a sex act performed while a baby is sucking the woman's breast). An intriguing and rare example, likely intended for Western consumption. The imaginative erotic scenes are painted on pith paper, or "rice paper", which came from the inner pith of the tree Trexapanx Papyrifera (in Chinese "Tongacao"). Pith paper was introduced in the workshops of Canton in the early 19th century on the instigation of Westerners: its soft, velvety surface was an excellent base for painting in the western way. Erotic pith paper albums were usually of rather low quality, but the present suite, with its rich colours and softly rendered figures, is a fine exception.

Paper sometimes cracked, occasional loss of pigment. A fine collection.

Stock Code: BN#45962 Tags: , , ,