Boudoir Cards
Boudoir Cards  -  Vintage Postcards of the Belle Epoque

French (Erotic) Postcards

Introduction
Belle Epoque Postcards
French Postcards
Oriental erotic Postcards
French Glamour & Pin-up Postcards
Various Postcards
Cabinet Cards & Cartes de Visite
Artwork & Compositions
Books & Links
New Entries & Index
Impressum

 

French Postcards - artists
French Postcards - photographers
French Postcards - publishers

One of the most exciting topics of early photography in the second half of the 19th century was artistic nude photography. Early techniques like the daguerreotype were limited by costs and technical problems like exposure time and need of fast processing, thus requiring a large and heavy equipment. Reproductions of daguerreotypes were very expensive. With further development of photographic material and reproduction techniques, the photographers looked for opportunities to publish their nude photographs without violating the restrictive laws. Nude photgraphs were officially published mainly in books or magazines for artists and painters, replacing thier live models, or in more or less serious scientitific books. This "legalized" showing nudity from a moral point of view. Examples are the German books by C. H. Stratz ("Die Schönheit des weiblichen Körpers" - The Beauty of the Female Body) and by Eduard Daelen ("Die Schönheit des menschlichen Körpers" - The Beauty of the Human Body). Another example is the French magazin "L'Étude Académique", which was published between 1904 and 1914 by La Librairie d'Art technique, Paris.

Images of erotic photography, already beginning with the daguerreotypes, were a more secret and discrete business. With the upcoming techniques of printing photos on albumin- or gelatine-coated paper, the so called cabinet cards, cartes de visite and especially the "French" postcards became a popular collector's item. Due to the contemporary moral and law, these cards were usually sold and traded discretely in stores or by street dealers. Most of the photographers kept their work anonymous by using acronymic signatures. They didn't want to risk their public reputation, or to get in troubles with the law. Well known signatures were for example J.A. Paris, obviously used by Jean Agélou, or A M Patent by Louis Amédée Mante.
Nevertheless photographers in Paris like Jean Agélou, Louis Amedée Mante or Julian Mandel produced numerous series of semi-nude and nude photographs of a large variety of anonymous models.
Modeling for nude photography was kept secretly too, and most of the models for nude photography were presumably prostitutes or models for painters. This is why there are only a very few known names of artists from theatre or music halls, like Kiki de Montparnasse, or the actresses and singers Maud d'Orby and Nina Barkis, who also modeled for nude photography. Just recently we found evidence about the identity of another nude model, Jeanne Juilla, who was Miss Europe in 1931.

But the most popular and extensively portrayed model over a longer period of time was Miss Fernande, the favorite model and muse of Jean Agélou. Even in our days, more than hundred years later, Miss Fernande is still the favorite model of erotic postcard collectors. Actually with Miss Fernande our interest in vintage postcards started, now finally resulting in this website.

We have to admit, that a part of the erotic postcards shown on our website derives not strictly from the time of the Belle Epoque, but also from 1914 until the 1920s. Nevertheless we think, that these beautiful cards should be included in our website of vintage postcards.

Next to Miss Fernande, Maud d'Orby, Jeanne Juilla and Nina Barkis we show on the following pages several models on individual pages, whom we gave fictitious names.
The majority of the cards from our collection are from unknown models.
Sometimes the postcards were colorized and we put these tinted cards also on a separate page. Other individual pages are about certain styles or topics like "boudoir scenes", which is actually one of the main topics of our Boudoir-Cards-website. Finally postcards are presented on separate pages according to publishers like A.M. Patent, J.A., GA, A.N. Paris, Noyer, PC Paris, or Leo.

Further pages will provide more information about the most important photographers for erotic postcards. In analogy to the Belle Epoque postcard pages you will also find informations about publishers and their logos. Use the link buttons on top of this page.

 

Bibliography:

 

Websites:

 

French Postcards

Martin Stevens
French Postcards - An Album of Vintage Erotica

 

Jo & Paul Richardson
Quand la femme pose ...
L'Âge d'or de la photographie érotique

 

French Vintage Nude

French vintage nude
Cartes postales érotiques des années 1900
Ragage Éditeur, Neuilly 2008

 

Nude 1900

J. P. Bourgeron (Editor)
Nude 1900

 

Nude-1925

J. P. Bourgeron, P. J. Balbo (Editors)
Nude 1925 - A Look at French Postcards

 

Ferruccio Farina:
Die verbotene Venus
Erotische Postkarten 1895-1925

 

 

 

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Vintage Postcards of the Belle Epoque
Copyright by Helmut Schmidt & Grace La Rock
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