Edition 69

Toyen-Le Puits dans la tour/Debris de reves-1967

Regular readers will be aware of the high esteem that I hold the mysterious, brilliant artist and co-founder of the Czech Surrealist Group, Toyen, through the many posts that have featured her extra-ordinary artwork. However while I have certainly noted the influence of the erotic upon her work ( notably At the Chateau La Coste), I have refrained from featuring her more explicit drawings that she produced for Edition 69 (see Dreams of Desire 34 (Emilie Comes To Me In A Dream) and throughout her career, instead concentrating on her marvellous paintings and lithographs (see The Myth of Light, Horror and The Shooting Gallery); however these erotic drawings and dry-points are exceptional in their technical execution, mastery of line (unsurpassed within the Surrealist group, with the possible exception of the supremely disquieting Hans Bellmer), visual wit and power to cause unease.

Below are some of Toyen’s illustrations for the Edition 69 series, which included Justine by the Marquis De Sade and Pybrac by that urbane decadent writer and pornographer Pierre Louys, which is without doubt the filthiest poem ever published. Also included are later dry-point illustrations from Radovan Ivsic’s Le Puit dans la tour/Derbis de reves (The Well in the tower/Debris of dreams).

45 thoughts on “Edition 69

  1. Wow, these are wonderfully provocative. Wait till Vic sees these! The often present fox in the first one. Flowers as female genitalia. And a pair of cougars before that was a ‘thing’ *smiles* (that one is exceptionally beautiful, I think) Outstanding pieces, every one. Excellent collection. Love!

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      1. I didn’t really think about Picasso in relation to Toyen before, though I know he produced a number of explicit erotic drawings. I will ponder this. I find Toyen drawings of women quite tender and delicate on the whole.

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  2. Interesting post. I don’t know much about art, I must confess, but some do evoke visceral responses. Was Pybrac the posthumously published collection of the filthiest poems ever printed, just one poem? Maybe I should read the book and then see if I can produce a filthier poem lol.

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    1. It is 313 stanzas of Alexandrines that usually start ….I do not like… then describes in graphic detail the act he doesn’t like. It was posthumously published but Louys was quite racy anyway. Well if you could produce something filthy it would be some kind of achievement. Thanks for the comments.

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  3. Hmm. Mr. Cake, these are fabulous. Some erotic, some sensual, some just nudes, and all beautiful. And the thought that she watched porn through her 70s (in another link) makes me so very happy. I hope to be like that. Edition 69. 😁 Incidentally… I’ve had that dream… 😉

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    1. Well she moved into Andre Breton’s study after his death (his widow gave it to her and she was devoted to him). It was a sleazy area in the 60’s, strip clubs, porno theatres, brothels etc, but she was delighted. I don’t usually post such risque material (maybe I do and just dont realise it or maybe I am just coy) but i love toyen.

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  4. Intriguing Cake. I always learn so much from reading your posts.
    My favorite image of Toyon here is the 2nd to last one. I love the butterfly/fish out of water/owl How do I interpret this?

    Arousal can come in many different forms. The throat, I find particularly sensual and vulnerable. For an artist to be able to express such provocative paintings in his day, this particular one appeals to me because it is almost like a message. I will speak up for what I find beautiful for it makes me feel alive.
    There is beauty in knowing who you are, what you like and standing up for what you believe in even if it makes others uncomfortable.

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    1. Thank you Daisy. Toyen is one of the most featured artists here, I have written about her or took the liberty of using an image to go with a poem about a dozen times. Her erotic work is, to my mind anyway, top class as she could convey the whole range of emotions associated with it, tender, delicate, feverish, cruel, dreamy and nightmarish. Glad you enjoyed and thanks for commenting, it is always a pleasure to know you have visited.

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      1. This is how I first discovered F .W. – her work and her story captivates me. I love that image -the angel. Her work speaks to me – I love it. I credit you 100% for introducing me to F.W. – I always have. I wish I had the knowledge you have. 🙂

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