Decadent! Erotic! Phantasmagoric! Fin-de-siècle grotesqueries! Gents and ladies disporting themselves, occasionally with a zealous attention by attending friends from the animal kingdom! The provocative work of Austrian artist Franz von Bayros (1866-1924) garnered all of these responses, though simple outrage was no doubt the most prevalent.
Typically, for an artist dealing with such imagery, von Bayros produced work under several pseudonyms, most notably Choisy Le Conin, and was hounded by authorities for much of his life for his “indecent” art. Yet it has been often pointed out that, unlike some other decadent or erotic art, von Bayros is keen to suggest the primal joy of sex, even while indulging an imagination that allows for the inclusion of such taboo or “exploitative” subjects as sadomasochism and bestiality.
For more information, including detailed descriptions and auction estimates for the von Bayros material and similarly themed erotic books and illustrations, view our online catalogue. The sale’s preview exhibition is open Friday, November 4, 10-6; Saturday, November 5, 10-4; Monday, November 7, 10-6; and from 10-noon Tuesday, November 8, the day of the auction.