The Audacious Lesbian Erotica of the Art Deco Artist Gerda Wegener
22 juli 2020 
15 min. read

The Audacious Lesbian Erotica of the Art Deco Artist Gerda Wegener

Virtually no art nouveau artist has attracted so much attention, not only because of her art but especially because of her lifestyle as the Danish painter and illustrator Gerda Marie Frederike Wegener (1886-1940). She was born in Northern Schleswig, but because of her love of art she decided to leave for Copenhagen at an early age to pursue an education at the Royal Art Academy.

Gender Reassignment Surgery

In 1904 she married the artist Einar Wegener, who increasingly recognized his feminine identity. He later called himself Lili Elbe (Fig.2) and was the first person in the world to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

Gerda Wegener

Fig.1. Portrait of Wegener at the age of 22

Desire for Female

Gerda Wegener’s unlimited tolerance and her openness regarding her own lesbian tendencies make her a pioneer of self-confident female sexuality. Gerda Wegener’s art is an expression of her dazzling life. She painted sensual, self-confident, modern and elegant women who were not ashamed of that. Wegener honored female beauty, friskiness and seductiveness, nudity and role play. Her often erotic works reflect the desire for the female, even include lesbian sexuality and play with the sexes.

Gerda Wegener art

Fig.2. ‘Lili Elbe‘ by Gerda Wegener

Two Gold Medals

Lili Elbe often serves her as a model, as well as on the oil painting of the same name. In 1912, the dazzling couple moved to Paris, where Gerda works as a portrait painter and as an illustrator for various magazines like Vogue, Fantasio, La Vie Parisienne. At the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1925, she exhibits her works and wins two gold medals.  Lili died at the age of 49, soon after a fifth operation that concerned the transplantation of a uterus. Her death was caused due to transplant rejections.

gerda wegener

Fig.3. Series of watercolors, which appeared in 1925 under the title “Les Délassements d’Eros” in Erotopolis (Paris)

The Danish Girl

In Denmark she had fallen into oblivion in recent decades, but the 2015 feature film “The Danish Girl“, which tells the life story of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, has once again emphasized her important role in art history.

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Fig.4. ‘The Balcony‘ (1917)

Gerda Wegener


Gerda Wegener lesbian

Fig.6. ‘The Circle of Love‘ from the series ‘The Pleasures of Eros‘ (1917)

Gerda Wegener

Fig.7. From a series of water colors published in 1925 entitled ‘Les Delassements d’Eros in Erotopolis Paris

Gerda Wegener

Fig.8. ‘Faun Tickling Young Girl Asleep

Gerda Wegener

Fig.9. ‘The Young Leda‘ (1917)

Gerda Wegener

Fig.10. ‘The Crinoline‘ (1917)

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Fig.11 ‘Lesbian couple on striped cushions‘ (1925)

Gerda Wegener art

Fig.12. From the series ‘The Delights of Eros‘ (1925)

gerda wegener

Fig.13. From the series ‘Une aventure d’amour à Venise (A love affair in Venice)‘ (1927)

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gerda wegener mermaids

Fig.18. ‘Mermaids‘ (1918)

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Fig.19. ‘Bathing women and swan at a fountain‘ (1916)

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Illustrations Wegener produced for Théophile Gautier’s “Fortunio” (edition of 1934)…

Fortunio Gerda Wegener.

Fig.21. (Source: Biblio Curiosa)

Gerda Wegener. Fortunio

Fig.22. (Source: Biblio Curiosa)

Théophile Gautier's

Fig.23. (Source: Biblio Curiosa)

Lily, Hot Summer, 1924 by Gerda WegenerFig.24. 'Lily, Hot Summer' (1924)

Click HERE for the lesbian rococo fantasies of Sadie Lee…!!

Source:, Biblio Curiosa, #womensart

Who is your favorite erotic artist? Leave your reaction in the comment box below….!!

About the author
Marijn is the founder of With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.


on 31 Jul 2020

Gerda Wegener's work ranks high on my list of erotic paintings and I love the finesse of her lesbian couples - very hard to find limited editions (last I searched the copies I came across cost between $2,500 and $4,000 I think.) Would love to add one to my collection, but they are regretfully unaffordable. My favorite photo of Gerda, by the way! Just the right pic. :)



on 01 Aug 2020

Thanks JB, it's always interesting to hear how you evaluate the specific artist or artworks!

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