Ars Amandi in the Works of the Swiss Artist André Lambert
The Swiss graphic artist and architect André Henri Wilhelm Lambert (1884-1967) was a prominent representative of the so-called Art Nouveau style. He worked as an illustrator of books and magazines. The erotic pieces of Lambert remind of those by Gerda Wegener and Franz von Bayros.
Fig. 1. Ovid teaches beautiful maidens the art of love with the cupid as a helper (blogspot.com)
André Lambert was born in a family of the architect André-Louis Lambert. Like his father, he began studying architecture at the University of Stuttgart. In 1903, Lambert moved to Munich and changed the subject of his studies to painting. He was accepted by the Munich Art Academy two years later. In Germany, Lambert earned his living as a painter and illustrator. Among others, he worked in the satirical magazine Simplicissimus published in Munich. In 1908, the artist relocated to Paris, where he studied painting with Fernand Cormon, whose students also were Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec. Later, Lambert organized his workshops in Montparnasse and on Île Saint-Louis in the Notre-Dame district. At that time, he was acquainted with many Parisian artists and poets. In 1919, together with Georges Aubault, he founded Janus magazine, a peculiar press published entirely in Latin.
Fig. 2. The cover of ‘Janus.’ (blogspot.com)
The Swiss-born painter was keen on traveling and visited Spain several times, until, in 1920, he settled in Xàbia. His estate was entitled Janus as the magazine he founded earlier in Paris. According to other sources, his estate was named Domus Lambertina. Probably, Lambert departed Europe to leave all its’ madness behind, and he wasn’t wrong in his intentions as the Second World War happened shortly after the First. The painter bought ten hectares of land by the sea and worked on repopulating pine trees. He managed to protect from urbanization the part of the coast where he lived. The street of Xàbia and the local exhibition center were named after Lambert.
Fig. 3. The Brunette (blogspot.com)
Fig. 4. The Blonde (blogspot.com)
Dwelling in Xàbia, Lambert illustrated lots of classic books, like Metamorphoses by Ovid (1918), Hoffmann’s Tales (1924), Candide by Voltaire (1932), picaresque novel Lazarillo de Tormes (1942), Salammbô by Flaubert (1948), Goethe’s Faust (1949), Salomé by Oscar Wilde (1953), and Don Quixote by Cervantes. The artist focused on decorativeness and often depicted his characters in rich costumes with complicated patterns. Like many representatives of modernism, Lambert used commedia dell’arte motifs. He also drew the landscapes of Xàbia and Paris, which are exhibited in the Town Hall of Xàbia.
Fig. 5. The Virgin of the Desperate (blogspot.com)
Fig. 6. The Seven Deadly Sins. Anger, 1918 (blogspot.com)
In the 1920s, André Lambert was best known for his erotic works, which he published under the pseudonym Ansaad de Lytencia. There were at least two sets of erotic pictures: ‘Les Seuils Empourprés. Dix evocations erotiques‘ (The Crimson Thresholds. Ten erotic evocations) and ‘Caresses. Quatre evocations erotiques.‘ The setting and titles of the images indicate another characteristic feature of modern art: its’ adherence to mysticism and occultism. The motto of ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ printed on the cover was ‘Se trouve oû l’on peut et se montre quand il le faut’ (you may find it where you can, and it will show up when you need it).
Fig. 7. The cover of ‘The Crimson Thresholds. Ten erotic evocations.’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 8. Probably the back side of the cover of ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 9. Possession from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 10. Serenity from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 11. Mysticism from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 12. Reversibility from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 13. Initiation from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 14. Finale from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 15. Dance from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 16. The Red Fish from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 17. Insignificance from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 18. Inverts from ‘The Crimson Thresholds’ (blogspot.com)
Fig. 19. Cover of Caresses (the-saleroom.com)
Fig. 20. Midnight from the Caresses (blogspot.com)
Fig. 21. Midday from the Caresses (christies.com)
Fig. 22. The whole set of the Caresses including The Morning and The Evening (gazette-drouot.com)
Fig. 23. Messalina with the depiction of Leda and the Swan in the background, 1916 (blogspot.com)
Fig. 24. Messalina, attrib. to André Lambert at dolorosa-reveries.blogspot.com
Fig. 25. The Birth of Venus (dolorosa-reveries.blogspot.com)
Fig. 26. The 69 pose (blogspot.com)
Fig. 27. Anthology of the Latin lyric (blogspot.com)
Fig. 28. Brunette and Blonde / Bilitis and Sappho, 1917.
Sappho is a well-known ancient poetess considered to be a lesbian. Bilitis is a heroine of the poetic mystification of French author Pierre Louÿs, who published the collection of poems ‘The Songs of Bilitis’ in 1894. The authorship was ascribed to a Greek poetess who ostensibly was a member of Sappho’s coterie.
Fig. 29. Probably, Zeus disguised as goddess Diana/Artemis with a nymph Callisto (blogspot.com)
Fig. 30. Pride. The Seven Deadly Sins, 1918 (blogspot.com)
Fig. 31. Lust, The Seven Deadly Sins, 1918 (blogspot.com)
Fig. 32. Sloth, The Seven Deadly Sins, 1918 (blogspot.com)
Fig. 33. Gluttony, The Seven Deadly Sins, 1918 (blogspot.com)
Fig. 34. Casanova (blogspot.com)
Fig. 35. Casanova (blogspot.com)
Fig. 36. Venus and Adonis (blogspot.com)
Sources: Wikipedia.org; esaviejaculturafrita.blogspot.com; javea.com
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