The artist whose pictures we’re going to look at is Georg Emmanuel Opiz (1775-1841), a German painter and lithographer that signed his works as “Bohemus.” His most well-known work is the series of lithographs “Cossacks in Paris” (1814). Besides, he is supposed to be the author of near thirty erotic prints.
Fig. 1. Georg Opiz, The Glutton, (Wikipedia.org)
From the Early Years to Becoming a Genre Artist
Georg Opiz was born into the family of the taxman Johann Ferdinand Opiz who also was a writer and an editor communicating with famous adventurer Giacomo Casanova. Initially, Georg Opiz studied as a lawyer, but several years later, in 1793, he moved to Dresden and started taking lessons at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. His mentor was Giovanni Battista Casanova, the minor brother of Giacomo. The studies finished, Opiz went to Karlsbad, making his living by painting wealthy tourists. For the next seven years, he was traveling between Hamburg, Bremen, and Vienna and depicting the street life of these cities, which allowed him to become a genre artist. In 1805, Opiz settled in Leipzig with his wife and produced mainly portrait miniatures. After the Napoleonic wars, he spent some time in Paris, then returned to Leipzig. Here he worked for the magazine Urania, published by Brockhaus. It must be mentioned that Opiz wasn’t only a visual artist but also a writer. He specialized in romantic novels and historical narratives.
Fig. 2. The Drunkard, (Wikipedia.org)
Fig. 3. Cheerful dinner party (pinterest.com)
Faire l’amour à la Cosaque
In 1814, after the victory of the Sixth Coalition, Opiz arrived in conquered Paris to depict the Babylonian atmosphere of mixed cultures and languages. As can be seen from his lithographs published in 1819, Russian Cossacks, with their specific uniform, were the most exotic sight for Parisians, especially for females. The sexual appetite of this military community was reflected in the French idiom “faire l’amour à la cosaque” (“to make love in a Cossack’s way,” meaning quick fuck). In Opiz’s lithographs, the Cossacks are shown walking down the streets of Paris with Parisian women, bathing their horses in the Seine, visiting Louvre, and watching the caricatures on them.
Fig. 4. Russian officers and a Cossack with a Parisian woman (Wikipedia.org)
Fig. 5. Cossacks accompanied by women (Wikipedia.org)
Fig. 6. Cossacks bathing their horses in the Seine (Wikipedia.org)
Fig. 7. Cossacks visiting Louvre (Wikipedia.org)
Fig. 8. Cossacks watching caricatures (Wikipedia.org)
Erotic Set Attributed to Opiz
Sensual images attributed to Opiz are close to those by Achille Deveria and Peter Fendi. Pieces with copulating acrobats and dancers (fig. 11, 12) might belong to the latter as well. The image representing exploring kids with a shocked tutor standing behind the door (fig. 13) makes us recall Martin van Maële‘s “La grande danse macabre des vifs,” where kids discover their sexuality. Although the set of attributed pictures doesn’t include possible images of “l’amour a la cosaque,” which could indirectly prove the authorship of Opiz, his Parisian lithographs imply some erotic tension, especially those depicting Cossacks in the company of women. Neither had Opiz portrayed bathing affairs as one could expect considering his time in Karlsbad, nevertheless, this merry, postcard-looking set was ascribed to him. Another striking part of the attributed series is its’ humorous titles (Le Deluge; Vive la Differance, etc.). However, it remains unknown if they were given to the images by the author or later by someone else. All in all, Opiz very well might produce these drawings of joyful sex regarding his indirect connection to Giacomo Casanova.
Fig. 9. The Deluge (blogspot.com)
Fig. 10. Vive la Differance (blogspot.com)
Fig. 11. The dancing pair (blogspot.com)
Fig. 12. Acrobatic performance and excited crowd in the background (blogspot.com)
Fig. 13. Exploring kids and a tutor (blogspot.com)
Fig. 14. Lesbian scene with peeping Tom (artnet.com)
Fig. 15. Observing the vulva (blogspot.com)
Fig. 16. Double penetration (blogspot.com)
Fig. 17. Two males watching a lesbian scene and preparing to encounter (blogspot.com)
Fig. 18. The Ironing (blogspot.com)
Fig. 19. The threesome with a vicar engaged in a homosexual act while penetrating a woman (blogspot.com)
Fig. 20. The scene with peeping Tom (blogspot.com)
Fig. 21. Man preparing to penetrate a sleeping woman (blogspot.com)
Fig. 22. Aroused man watching a sleeping woman (blogspot.com)
Fig. 23. The couple with a woman looking at the viewer (blogspot.com)
Fig. 24. An embraced couple close to a climax. Woman’s eyes are half-closed (blogspot.com)
Fig. 25. Blind Man’s Buff (blogspot.com)
Fig. 26. The Sense of Smell (blogspot.com)
Fig. 27. Woman assists copulating lovers (blogspot.com)
Fig. 28. Urinating woman puts a condom on male genitalia (artnet.com)
Fig. 29. Aroused woman watching a copulating pair (blogspot.com)
Fig. 30. Threesome with a man and two women (blogspot.com)
Fig. 31. Man copulating with a woman while she is breastfeeding the urinating toddler (blogspot.com)
If you like Otiz’s enticing illustrations you’ll most probably also enjoy the Biedermeier erotica of his contemporary Peter Fendi …!!
Sources: Wikipedia.org; corquevols.blogspot.com; luaquebrada24x7.blogspot.com; artnet.com
Let us know what you think about Otiz work in the comment box below..!!
Otto Akoson 07 Jun 2021
Daryaon 07 Jun 2021