An erotic Queen of Clubs playing card featuring the artwork of French painter Paul-Émile Bécat.
Here’s a lovely NSFW treat for your eyes today—gorgeous images from a deck of playing cards featuring the erotic art of French painter and printer Paul-Émile Bécat.
This Le Florentin deck of playing cards was put out in 1955 and are in the style of the Old Masters such as his fellow Frenchmen François Boucher and Jean-Antoine Watteau. Bécat’s artistic style so closely emulates an era far earlier than his lifetime it would be quite easy to believe that they were done long before the 1950s. Bécat’s dedication his craft resulted in his work appearing in nearly 100 books, most of which published his erotic paintings and illustrations, some of which have accompanied books by the likes of Charles Baudelaire, Verlaine, and Voltaire. What’s especially interesting about Bécat is the fact that he didn’t actually start working in the erotic arena until much later in his life, his mid-40s. Also of interest is that his playing cards come off as tame when compared with his erotic paintings which feature graphic oral sex and other hedonistic scenes—including one taking place in a prison cell complete with handcuffs and chains.
Though there were likely 12,000 of Bécat’s gorgeous decks that once existed they are hard to come by today. I’ve seen fairly pristine examples listed for nearly $600. If you’re a fan of erotic art and are unfamiliar with Bécat, I’m sure you will dig what you’re about to see. Though his work has sadly not yet been compiled in a comprehensive book, there is an incredible paperback, La Vie des Dames Galantes (The Lives of the Gallant Ladies) published in 1948 that I did find here for the tidy sum of $250 (others in various condition can be found here). The book contains 26 hand-colored illustrations by Bécat including lesbian erotica. And as I’ve just mentioned sapphic erotica, oral sex, handcuffs and chains, it’s probably safe to assume the images that follow are NSFW.
The Queen of Clubs from the top of the post rotated to show the opposing illustration.
The opposing image from the Jack of Hearts card above.
The Jack of Clubs card featuring an image of Leonardo da Vinci.
The opposing image on the Jack of Clubs card.
The opposing image of the King of Spades card above.
The opposing image of the King of Clubs card above.
The opposing images of the Queen of Diamonds card above.
The opposing images of the Queen of Hearts card above.
The opposing image for the King of Hearts card above.
The cover of the deck.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
From Russia with drugs: The twisted erotic surrealism of Dmitry Vorsin
Naughty nuns, Nosferatu and BDSM: Surreal works by the master of ‘anything goes’ Clovis Trouille
The super-kinky illustrations of the mysterious French fetish artist known only as ‘Carlo’