Monday, April 3, 2017

Les Amusement du Faune by Louis Icart (1888-1950)

I was around at my friend A's yesterday, enjoying (if that is the word) our first skinny dip of the year.  Sadly, despite her pool heating, which she put on the day before, given an unseasonable 20 degrees, it hadn't really lifted the water temperature to Mediterranean levels and was more bracing than relaxing.  Still, we enjoyed her wet goose-bumped skin and a vigorous towel down afterwards.  We were discussing my recent lack of posts and she suggested that I needed to get something up onto The Seduction of Venus, as well as working on more Venus Observations Posts.  "How about some more satyrs and nymphs?" she asked.  A good idea, I agreed.

I'm always on the look out for nymph and satyr pictures and some time ago I discovered some pictures from a series by French Illustrator Louis Icart.  I only had a few images and they were poor quality but, coincidentally, I found a few more last month, to the extent that I was contemplating posting them.  Further research followed and, from a number of sources, I now have a complete copy of what was an edition of forty pictures, engraved in approximately 1925.   The first two pictures of the series illustrate a faun (the word faune in French also means wildlife so the title of the piece can also be taken to mean The Amusements of Wildlife) and a blonde nymph who, despite the classical title, seems very much a nineteen twenties girl.   The wild scenes depicted can be seen as an allegory for newly liberated nineteen twenties French women in post Great War Paris as much as nymphs frolicking in classical legend.

The faun of Roman legend was rather less rapine than the Ancient Greek satyr.  Typically, in satyr and nymph inspired art, the nymph would be surprised by the satyr, often losing her flimsy clothing as the lustful satyr unveils her. The Faun here may have surprised his nymph but she doesn't look too alarmed or terrified by his upwards thrusting phallus under her arm.  More like delighted anticipation!

Some playful caressing here as he diddles her pussy while she delicately toys with his erection.  Given that she is supposed to be a Greek nymph it is surprising that she is wearing very nineteen twenties stockings and shoes!

The faun is soon indulging in a bit of tit humping, as the nymph happily squeezes her breasts together to provide some extra friction.  She looks down at his thrusting member with delight.  Icart was a master at communicating expression with just a few lines in his characters' faces.

The nymph is soon submitting to the faun's oral administrations, clutching her breasts as her nipples protrude from between her fingers.  Although the couple are depicted in a sylvan landscape it is more like something imagined by Poussin, or a French Chateau's garden, than any real attempt at the recreation of Ancient Greece.

Time for her to return the favour to the faun, who looks appropriately appreciative.  Icart's Faun has goat's legs but his head is less human than some artists' and has more of a ram about it.

The nymph's stocking tops are slightly different in different pictures so is she one nymph depicted over a number of days or does the faun have a garden full of different nymphs to play with?  If two they both enjoy giving him a good sucking, anyway.

Into some soixante-neuf (which was certainly depicted on Ancient Greek pottery).  A convenient grassy bank helps our smartly shod nymph brace herslf as she straddles the faun's head. 

In this picture we get to see the faun's lapping tongue, while he contemplates her dainty anus, as he attends to the nymph, who is still happily sucking away.

Now astride the faun our nymph lets him guide himself up inside her.  No need to go into all that tiring chasing and ravishing when you have such a compliant nymph!

This time it is her turn to give him a helping hand, as she sits on his lap, facing away from him.  The faun enjoys a little nipple licking as well.  Icart has his copulating figures, in this series, always looking happy and pleased with their activity.  What sylvan bliss!

Safely inserted, the faun can enjoy the nymph's bust as she sits on his lap, shapely thighs spread and shoes daintily pointed, resting next to his hooves.

A slightly different position for the nymph is shown in this picture, as she has one leg across his thigh while she guides him in once more.   What an insatiable nymph!

More lap-sitting fun here, as the nymph reverses her position which, no doubt, gives the faun the chance to enjoy her bust with his mouth as well.  There appears to be a faun head statue on a plinth in the background.

This slightly different angle on the action show that the faun is, indeed, enjoying a good nipple lick as she continues to bounce up and down on his lap.  Although the plates for these engravings were made in 1925 they were lost for many years and they didn't come to light again until the late nineteen sixties or early seventies.

A more athletic seated pose is depicted in this print with the couple in a scissors position.  The nymph is delicately frigging herself here, too.

The nymph is leaning back and relaxing in this picture, as she gets the faun to do all the work.  They both look very pleased with themselves here.

More seated activity is shown here as the nymph is at the edge of the grassy bank, enabling the faun to kneel between her crossed legs.  Kissing in this one, as well.

That tricky position, if you are different heights, the stand up fuck is shown here.  The nymph and faun seem quite compatible, however.  Agent Triple P didn't manage this satisfactorily until he got a girlfriend who was over six foot tall!

It's an even trickier position to manage if the man (or faun) is standing behind the girl (or nymph) but the lady bending forward slightly, as here, helps a great deal.

More conventional missionary position in this one; not that they had missionaries in Ancient Greece nor, indeed, in nineteen twenties Paris

A more complicated position here as the faun lies on his side next to the nymph, pulling her left leg up for better access.  She appears to be enjoying having her nipple licked.

The nymph is up on top for this one and the convenenint grassy bank makes yet another appearance.  I wonder whether Icart may have used models for these and the grassy bank was a piece of furniture in his studio,

One thing about Icart's faun is that although he has the hairy, cloven footed legs of a goat they do not bend at the knee in the reverse manner of an actual goat, as shown in many artists' satyr or faun pictures.  He has man's legs as well as a man's genitals.

Here she is bracing herself on it with her hands as the faun takes her from the rear.  Given the number of rear entry depictions here perhaps it was a favourite of fauns, or Monsieur Icart himself.

Icart was born in Toulouse, now more famous as the HQ of Airbus Industrie, in 1888  It was apparent that he a was a talented artist from childhood but it was his aunt, who owned a millinery business, who took him to Paris where he could exploit his interest in doing fashion drawings.

His first works were all drawings and he didn't start to paint until he moved to Paris in 1907.  He trained in engraving and started to make the prints he would become famous for. 

The faun does have a goat's tail, however.  Here he seems to be enjoying watching himself penetrate the nymph, whose ecstatic expressions seem stronger when she is being taken from behind.  Triple P used to know a girl like that!

She has a wonderful expression of delightedly uninhibited satisfaction in this one as the faun continues to enjoy looking at her pert bottom.

Spooning up, this time, as the faun tickles her clitoris while taking her from behind once more.  The originals of these prints, which are now very rare indeed, are just 7cm x 5cm (3" x 2").  The amount of character and animation Icart gets in is just remarkable.  The cards they were printed on were smaller than an old postcard.

Now if there is one thing a faun likes more than a nymph it is two nymphs and in these final pictures from the set the original blonde (mostly) nymph is joined by a dark haired, equally bestockinged and shod friend.  Here she frigs herself while caressing the faun's balls, as he takes her companion.

Double oral fun for the faun as he licks one nymph's pussy while the newcomer indulges in some fellatio.  In 1914 the twenty-six year old Icart met an effervescent eighteen year old blonde called Fanny Vollmers who was employed by the fashion house Paquin.  Icart was doing illustrations for a lot of fashion houses at the time,   Fanny became his model, later his wife and mother of their daughter, Reine.

A rather different combination here with one nymph quite happy to perform cunnilingus on the other while the faun thrusts into the blonde's mouth.  Icart was a French Airforce pilot during the Great War so was lucky to survive, given their attrition rate.  He continued to produce drawings and sets of  prints throughout the conflict.

The dark haired nymph performs anilingus on the other nymph while the faun, underneath the blonde, fucks her,   Women in Paris, after the war, had a new found independence and freedom.  In Paris there was a fashion for a certain type of lady (actresses in particular) to indulge in lesbian affairs. The clingy, flimsy fashions of the day, which had replaced the tight, corseted pre-war ones, were perfect for Icart's sinuous, illustrative style.  He branched out from fashion illustration into doing work for books and magazines too.

As the blonde nymph licks the other's pussy the faun buggers the dark haired newcomer, to her evident enjoyment.  Little touches, like the top girl's hand gripping a lump in the ground add delightful detail.  Icart, as was often the case for illustrators, was not part of the mainstream Parisian artistic scene and his works owe more to eighteenth century rococo painters like Boucher and Fragonard.  He was not enamoured of the modern art of the time.

Ancient Greek women did use dildos (they were quite popular) but we doubt whether nymphs of legend did!  The blonde nymph here has equipped herself with a tie on one, so as to take her friend while she fellates the faun.

Here the blonde takes the dark haired nymph with her dildo while she is herself taken from behind by the form.  Rubber dildos first appeared in around 1850 and they were also made from wood, leather and tortoiseshell.

 While the dark haired nymph straddles the faun she is buggered by her dildo wearing blonde friend.  1925, when these pictures were engraved by Icart, was the year of the Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, which gave us the subsequent name for the period: Art Deco.  Icart became one of the greatest exemplars of the style in illustration and by the end of the twenties he was wealthy and famous.

Our final picture in this wonderful series brings us to a suitable ecstatic finale, as the dark haired girl supports herself, athletically, between the faun and her nymph friend.  This time the blonde is fucking her while the faun is buggering her.  Happiness all round!

This is a wonderful series, full of playfulness, ecstasy and joy. Icart also produced a watercolour of a nymph and faun which is equally passionate.  More of Icart's pictures another time.

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