Édouard-Henri Avril  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

Édouard-Henri Avril (21 May 1843–1928 in Le Raincy) was a French painter and commercial artist. Under the pseudonym Paul Avril, he was an illustrator of erotic literature.

Biography

Avril studied art in various Paris salons. From 1874 to 1878 he was at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Having been commissioned to illustrate Théophile Gautier's novel Fortunio, he adopted the pseudonym Paul Avril. His reputation was soon established and he received many commissions to illustrate both major authors and the so-called "galante literature" of the day, a form of erotica. These books were typically sold in small editions on a subscription basis, organised by collectors.

Avril illustrated such works as Gustave Flaubert's Salammbô, Gautier's Le Roi Candaule, John Cleland's Fanny Hill, Jean Baptiste Louvet de Couvray's Adventures of the Chevalier de Faublas, Mario Uchard's Mon Oncle Barbassou (scenes in a harem), Jules Michelet's Woman, Hector France's Musk, Hashish and Blood, the writings of Pietro Aretino (Sonetti Lussuriosi (1524) by Pietro Aretino in 1882), Histoire de Dom Bougre, Portier des Chartreux and the anonymous lesbian novel Gamiani. His major work was designs for De Figuris Veneris: A Manual of Classical Erotica by the German scholar Friedrich Karl Forberg.

List of works

  • Le Gant - Le Manchon, Paris, Quantin 1883. Cover and illustrations (Note: le manchon = the muff)
  • The Mirror of the World, with one hundred and sixty illustrations by Paul AVRIL, Octave Uzanne: The Mirror of the World, with one hundred and sixty illustrations by Paul Avril, 1889





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Édouard-Henri Avril" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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