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European erotica

Parent categories: Europe - erotica

By region: Belgian erotica | Dutch erotica | erotica | English erotica | French erotica | German erotica | Italian erotica | Scandinavian erotica

Contrast: European pornography

One striking aspect of pre-industrial European erotic literature is the preponderance of female characters. Two early 17th century French works, L’Ecole des Filles and L’Academie des Dames, were written as female dialogues — a literary device that was to be repeated many times over the next century in works such as John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure and the Marquis de Sade’s Juliette.


Mainland Europe, especially France, Scandinavia and the Netherlands has a reputation for sexual freedom unknown in the puritanical Anglo-Saxon world.

Paris is the capital of erotic art and the Netherlands has enjoyed freedom of the press since the enlightenment era.

Many British upper class Grand Tour travellers were shocked by the sexual explicitness of the artworks they found in Europe.

An example of such outrage can be found in the writings of American author Mark Twain:

In his 1880 travelogue A Tramp Abroad Mark Twain called the Venus of Urbino 'the foulest, the vilest, the obscenest picture the world possesses'. He proposed that 'it was painted for a bagnio and it was probably refused because it was a trifle too strong', adding humorously that 'in truth, it is a trifle too strong for any place but a public art gallery'.

[Jan 2006]

European erotica gallery

A small sample of images to be found at Jahsonic.com

Engraving by Raimondi

Illustration by Milo Manara

Illustration by Guido Crepax

All Ladies Do It/Così fan tutte (1992) - Tinto Brass [Amazon.com]

European erotic film

Eurotica [...]

During the 1960s and 1970s, European low-budget films went kinky, emerging as a new type of cinema that blended eroticism, surrealism, horror, and over-the-top atmospherics.

European trash cinema [...]

European trash cinema is a cinematic subgenre of European cinema and trash cinema. It is also referred to as Eurosleaze --jahsonic, [Jan 2005]


The moniker 'Euro trash' includes but is not limited to Mario Bava, Jess Franco, Jean Rollin, Walerian Borowczyk, Radley Metzger [an American who shot many of his movies in France and who regularly imported European erotic movies in the US where he sometimes or re-edited them], Max Pecas, José Benazeraf, Jose Larraz, Claude Mulot...

Continental film review (1952 - 1983?)

First issue in 1952.

'UK-based ''international'' film magazine which purported to be a somewhat serious film journal devoted to foreign films, but which in its later years focused rather more on pruriently on the scantily-clad and often nude young actresses which peopled films of the era.'

There was also published a US-priced edition which was exactly the same as the UK-counterpart except that it was dated a month later and was priced at 35 or 50 cents rather than 1/6. --http://www.geocities.com/moviemags/continental61.html [Jan 2005]

European erotic art

In Europe, starting with the Renaissance, there was a tradition of producing erotica for the amusement of the aristocracy. In 1601 Caravaggio painted the "Love Triumphant," for the collection of the Marquis Vincenzo Giustiniani. The latter is reputed to have kept it hidden behind a curtain to show only to his friends, as it was seen as a blatant celebration of sodomy. The tradition was continued by other, more modern painters, such as Fragonard, Courbet, Millet, Balthus, Picasso, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Egon Schiele, who served time in jail and had several works destroyed by the authorities for offending turn-of-the-century Austrian mores with his depiction of nude young girls, and so on. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotic_art#Modern_erotica [Jan 2005]

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