The years between 1900 and 1920 saw the Golden Age of the picture postcard come and go. From the Paris of this period came some - if not most - of the naughtier cards, known, of course, as 'French cards', and it is from a very fine collection of these that French Undressing has drawn its material. In his perceptive and witty discussion of more than two hundred such cards, the author, Paul Hammond, describes how they were produced, who made them, who bought them, and why they look as they do. He uncovers the relationship between postcard eroticism and the eroticism of Salon painting of the period, and. further, the postcards' affinities with popular magazine illustration, decorative art and the primitive cinema are also detailed. Particular attention is paid to the conscious use of sexual symbolism in many of the cards reproduced - a symbolism which affords valuable insights in to the mores and fashions of Europe at the beginning of this century. French Undressing is probably the most comprehensive collection of naughty French cards yet published and includes representative examples of all the more popular themes and styles. Here, for example, are coy maidens demurely disrobing for their bath; the provocative fin de siecle sires exuding the sensuality of decadence; seduction sequences ('six cards in a set') featuring a Young Lady and a Man of the World, or a Scarlet Woman and a gentilhomme; re-creations of Roman and Byzantine erotic splendor; an imagined 'Witches Sabbath' with two comely young girls; a bewitching succubus alighting on a window; and in addition, the visual gags and double entendres of those breezy humorous cards.
Small mark on cover and inner cover.
Tear on back top corner of dust jacket.