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Q: Identify this painting ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Identify this painting
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: kikujiro-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 29 Jun 2003 03:43 PDT
Expires: 29 Jul 2003 03:43 PDT
Question ID: 223082
There's a relatively well-known painting -- probably French and late
19C, but I'm not sure --m in which a young woman is sitting on the
edge of a bed, examining her vagina in a hand mirror. There may well
be several paintings on this theme; I just need to identify at least
one of the better-known ones to cite. I'll need the name of the
painting, the artist, where it's held and if possible a link to an

Clarification of Question by kikujiro-ga on 29 Jun 2003 03:44 PDT
Oh, the year would be great too :)

Request for Question Clarification by hummer-ga on 29 Jun 2003 13:09 PDT
Hi kikujiro,

After searching online and through our personal books of many popular
artists, for example, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec plus some
lesser known artists, we have only been able to come up with one
drawing that comes close to what you are looking for. Please have a
look at the image and if it is suitable, let me know so I can post it
as an answer.

Click on this link and type " wegener " in the search field.

You should see # AABR001504 (RM)
"The Pleasures of Eros" by Gerda Wegener 1917
Click on "info" and you'll see the information that is available.

Thank you, I will look forward to hearing from you,

Request for Question Clarification by tehuti-ga on 29 Jun 2003 15:20 PDT
A picture that corresponds exactly to the image you are seeking is an
illustration from the book "An Up-to-date Young Lady" by Helena
Varley, which was a bestseller in the 1920s. The drawing, together
with others in the book, is attributed to the French artist Paul-Emile
Bécat, although the illustrations were not signed.

You can view this image in the AMEA Museum of Erotic Art at The series of illustrations from this book can be found
by selecting Exhibitions and then selecting the title of the book as
given above.

Helena Varley, according to
was supposedly the pseudonym of Michèle Nicolaï. 

Since this is a book illustration, it is not actually held in any
gallery as such. For this reason, I have hesitated to post this as an
answer. Please indicate if this is indeed the answer you are seeking.

Clarification of Question by kikujiro-ga on 30 Jun 2003 03:45 PDT
Hi guys. Thank you both very much for your help. I was fairly
convinced it was a painting, but perhaps I was wrong. While what
Hummer found is very close, Tehuti's image is exactly what I
described, so I guess that's the one I should accept as an answer.
Haven't used GA before so I hope this follows acceptable etiquette.

Subject: Re: Identify this painting
Answered By: tehuti-ga on 30 Jun 2003 05:20 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you kikujiro, 

I'm glad I was able to help.  Paul-Emile Bécat was born in 1885 and
died in 1960.  He seems to have specialised in erotic illustrations. 
However, the Musée Carnavalet in Paris lists among donations received
a portrait painted by him in 1922 "Portrait de Jules Romain"

A book of his engravings "Les amours pastorales de Daphnis et Chloé"
(1939) is being offered for sale at 450 euros 

A Google search on his name did not provide any further information
about his life, although it does identify about 50 web sites, mainly
containing references to his various illustrations. You can repeat
this search by using the search term "Paul-Emile Bécat" with the
quotation marks and with the accent on the e in the surname.

Clarification of Answer by tehuti-ga on 30 Jun 2003 15:43 PDT
I've been trying to track down the book.  I have not seen any records
for the English title.  Here is one record from the British Library,
which is to a French edition, although it seems rather late to be the
first one:

"Title:  Une Jeune fille aÌ la page. Roman ineìdit. [With plates.] 
Main heading:  VARLEY. Helena. pseud? 
Publication details:  pp. 152. En Touraine, [1938.] 8o. 
Notes:  The imprint is false; printed in Paris."

While the French National Library
has a record for an edition (the same?) for which no date is given:

"Auteur(s) Varley, Helena (Auteur) 
Titre Helena Varley. Une jeune fille à la page, roman inédit 
Langue Français 
Publication En Touraine, au Château de la volupté : (s. d.) 
Description In-8° , 152 p., pl. en coul." 

and it also has references to some recent editions:

Auteur(s) Varley, Helena (Auteur) 
Autre(s) Bécat, Paul-Emile -1885-.... (0440) 
 Nicolaï, Michèle (0071) 
Titre L'initiation, une jeune fille à la page 
Langue Français 
Publication [Paris], le Pré aux Clercs : 1998,
18-Saint-Amand-Montrond, Bussière Camedan impr.
Description 127 p. -ill., couv. ill. en coul. -21 cm 
Collection Bibliothèque libertine 
ISBN 2-84228-044-X 
Notes Attribué à Michèle Nicolai 
Auteur(s) Varley, Helena (Auteur) 
Titre Une jeune fille à la page 
Langue Français 
Publication Paris, Ed. Blanche : 2001, 72-La Flèche, Impr. Brodard et
Description 141 p. -couv. ill. -19 cm 
Collection Bibliothèque blanche 
ISBN 2-84628-026-6
kikujiro-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I might never know if this is the image I once saw, but it's
incredibly close and it was a real achievement to find it. Additional
library info is very welcome as I'm a BL member and can check it out

There are no comments at this time.

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