Franz von Bayros, Original pen-and-ink drawing, most likely a design for a bookplate, circa 1915.
Η μεγάλη άνθηση των ερωτικών ex libris με γυμνά ή με ερωτικά θέματα, τα επονομαζόμενα επίσης ως ex-eroticis, άνθησε στα τέλη του 19ου αιώνα και στις αρχές του 20ου και η άνθηση αυτή φτάνει ως τις μέρες μας.
Οι κυριότεροι εκπρόσωποι του είναι ο Franz von Bayros, ο Michel Fingensten και ο Karel Simunek με σημαντικότερο τον πρώτο από αυτούς.
Ο Franz von Bayros (1866–1924) από την Κροατία, έγινε δεκτός από 17 ετών στην Ακαδημία της Βιέννης και η ζωγραφική του αποτελεί χαρακτηριστικό δείγμα του Παρακμιακού κινήματος ή κίνημα της Παρακμής (Decadence) ένα καλλιτεχνικό ρεύμα που άνθισε προς το τέλος του 19ου αιώνα (fin de siècle) στην ζωγραφική και στη λογοτεχνία.
Ο Von Bayros ζωγράφιζε κυρίως ερωτικά θέματα που χαρακτηρίζονται από τον λεπτεπίλεπτο σχεδιασμό και την φαντασμαγορική τους εικονογράφηση. Παντρεύτηκε την προγονή του Johann Strauss II και έτσι έγινε γνωστός στην καλή κοινωνία της Βιέννης και προφανώς σε αυτήν απέκτησε επαφές και με έλληνες που ζούσαν εκεί και στους οποίους έτσι σχεδίασε τα ex libris τους.
Decadent! Erotic! Phantasmagoric! Fin-de-siècle grotesqueries! Gents and ladies disporting themselves, occasionally with a zealous attention by attending friends from the animal kingdom! The provocative work of Austrian artist Franz von Bayros (1866-1924) garnered all of these responses, though simple outrage was no doubt the most prevalent.
Marquis Franz von Bayros (1866 – 1924), also known by his pseudonym Choisy Le Conin, was an Austrian artist and son of a Spanish nobleman. He is known for his erotic illustrations for the Decadence Movement, his early Art Nouveau style which follows in the footstep of Aubrey Beardsley, and was probably one of the earliest artists who could be described as including fetish themes in his art, essentially becoming the first "fetish artist." His illustrations are noted for their intricate detail, as well as their hidden eroticism which is often combined with objects and architecture in the background of his images.
In 1886, at 17, he studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, where both Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele were to later study, and became close with Johann Strauss and his circle of friends. Not much else is known about his time at the Academy. In 1896 he married a step daughter of Johann Strauss and then moved to Munich in 1897.
In 1904, von Bayros gave his first exhibition in Munich, which was a great success. From 1904 until 1908, von Bayros traveled to Paris and Italy for his studies.
Erzählungen am Toilettentische von Choisy Le Conin, illustrated title-page and 15 erotic plates by Bayros, privately printed for subscribers, circa 1908.
In 1911 he created his most famous work, an erotic portfolio titled 'Erzahlungen vom Toilettentisch' ('Tales from the Dressing Table'). The illustrations in this portfolio caused such controversy, he was later arrested and exiled from Germany, returning to Vienna.
Typically, for an artist dealing with such imagery, von Bayros produced work under several pseudonyms, most notably Choisy Le Conin, and was hounded by authorities for much of his life for his “indecent” art. Yet it has been often pointed out that, unlike some other decadent or erotic art, von Bayros is keen to suggest the primal joy of sex, even while indulging an imagination that allows for the inclusion of such taboo or “exploitative” subjects as sadomasochism and bestiality.
Originally from Zagreb, Croatia, Bayros was constantly on the move: oft-expelled from European cities due to the sexual content of his work, he was forced to relocate again and again and start from scratch. During his lifetime he produced over 2000 works, and his most famous collection was a series of erotic images Tales from the Dressing Table.