The cover of the October 1951 issue of ‘Paris Tabou.’
Cheeky French magazine Paris Tabou (named for the famed Parisian nightclub “Le Tabou” once located on Rue Dauphine in St. Germain des Prés) was a French monthly pin-up magazine that made its debut in September of 1949. What I found rather curious about the gorgeous covers that featured illustrations of nearly nude women (most by Italian artist Gino Boccasile) was the inclusion of various mischievous toddlers with rather bad intentions.
Though Paris Tabou stopped publishing in 1953 it definitely made its mark with the help of Boccasile’s intriguingly perverse covers. Boccasile himself has an interesting history—the artist had only one functional eye, but was fairly prolific during the 1930s. His work graced the covers of many French magazines and books. Though his ability to produce beautiful renderings of women in various stages of undress can’t be disputed, the illustrator also had a darker side.
A supporter of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, Boccasile’s hateful “anti-negro” posters (which I won’t include in this post for obvious reasons—Google them if you really must) were used as propaganda by Mussolini in the 1940s during the onset of the RSI (the “Repubblica Sociale Italiana” or “Italian Social Republic”) that was formed by Mussolini in order to maintain control of Italy (with the assistance of the German military). Boccasile was later tried (and acquitted) for his “artistic” contributions to the Third Reich. Yikes. Soon after his acquittal Boccasile switched gears and began creating memorable images that were used to advertise everything from makeup to booze. His illustrated covers for Paris Tabou were some of the last works he created before he died in 1952 at the age of 51. Many of the images that follow are slightly NSFW.
More after the jump…