SOUVENIR DE JEUNESSE: A RARE SET OF 24 EROTIC DRAWINGS

Count Mihaly von Zichy

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13 signed in Latin, two signed with initial watercolour with gouache over pencil on paper. Souvenir de Jeunesse is a rare set of 24 exquisite erotic drawing by Mihaly Zichy, one of the leading exponents of Hungarian Romantic painting who is today probably best remembered for his erotic graphic work. Following studies in Budapest and Vienna, Mihaly Zichy was based mainly in Russia from 1847 and 1906, He initially worked in the service of the Court of the Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna then from 1853 for a succession of four tsars, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II. In 1856 "Isar Alexander II appointed Zichy to the post of Court painter and he executed many grand representative watercolours and sepia drawings portraying Court life. The offered set of erotic drawings, some in colour, some in sepia, includes a title page and it seems likely that they were once bound in an album. Interestingly, all the works have remnants of printed cover sheets glued around the edges. These would have originally concealed the erotic drawings and would have had to have been ripped off to reveal the risque images beneath, an intriguing device possibly intended to heighten the viewer's experience.