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Science

Édouard-Henri Avril

 

Édouard-Henri Avril (21 May 1849 – 28 July 1928) was a French painter and commercial artist. Under the pseudonym Paul Avril, he was an illustrator of erotic literature.

Born in Algiers, 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 Caundale, 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 The Madam, Hector France's Musk, Hashish and Blood, the writings of Pietro Aretino, 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.

Avril died at Le Raincy in 1928.





 
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