We have seen this collection of pictures, which look like book illustrations, described in several places as the work of French artist Gabriel Ferrier (1847-1914). However the style is all wrong for him and his period of activity and they look later (nineteen forties?). We would be interested to hear from anyone who can positively identify the artist.
Here we have a typical eighteenth century meal with big wigs, big dresses and passionate bosom clasping. The Champagne ice bucket looks more modern than the ornate ones seen in the eighteenth century.
A common mistake in illustrations set in the past are the length of stockings. In the eighteenth century they would have only been just above the knee as until elastic fabric was invented they wouldn't have stayed up if they finished higher up the thigh. Even into the nineteen twenties stockings were shorter than they are today. This lady's elegantly displayed leg shows a stocking far too long for the period but what a lovely slice of naked upper thigh/
The same is true of this Venetian masquerade lady. The stockings would also have been much looser above the garters.
It is the look of this lady which dates her as (much) later than Ferrier. She has something of Gone with the Wind about her hairstyle although she is nicely unveiled here.
Very much of her time, too, is madame here, who looks like a nineteen thirties ofrforties Hollywood portrait. It reminds us of a photograph we have seen somewhere.
You can't possibly have a set of illustrations like this without a gratuitous lesbian picture. The ladies here appear to be in considerable less splendour than the other denizens of this world. Milady slumming it with a servant girl again, perhaps.
Here is an enticingly diaphanous gown with which to tempt the master of the house. Or perhaps he is just a special guest who needs "looking after".
In this one we aren't sure if the passionate scene in the background is a painting, a mirror or a dream of what is to come. The Champagne flutes are unlikely to have been used in the eighteenth century. In fact they would have been unusual up until the seventies. Are these pictures even more recent?
Some rather more passionate embracing here as the young lady gets her perky nipple nibbled.
Finally, what is this naked nymph thinking? Somehow we thing that the gentleman is the innocent here!
So, this a nice set of drawing but obviously not contemporary, not late nineteenth or early twentieth century like Ferrier and possibly even quite recent. Does anyone have any information?
Someone has said that they look very much like the work of Paul-Émile Bécat, which seems plausible although we can't locate the work they are illustrating.