Ask Morgana 171: Pierre Lissac

Pierre-Marie-Joseph Lissac (1878-1955) was a prolific painter, illustrator, and cartoonist.

paul_chabas_Musee_du_Luxembourgcroquis-lissac0001As a cartoonist, working under the signatures ‘Pierlis’ or ‘Kiss’, he had a subtly satirical style, such as here (right) where he gently mocks the coy style of nudes painted by Paul Chabas (left). Chabas’ nymph, bathing in a gotto pool, becomes Lissac’s disgruntled girl, dripping wet, having a stand-up wash in a tub of cold water.

I might feature Chabas later. We’ll see…

Meanwhile, back to Lissac. His non-erotic works are almost numberless – his career spanned nearly sixty years – yet the simple, frank, minimal illustrations he provided for an edition of Pierre Louÿs’ Les Chanson de Bilitis caught my eye. To my eye, what they capture is a kind of delight, freedom, innocence. Perhaps they don’t really qualify as erotic art at all;  but having said that, this series has often asked the genre to define itself, to set its parameters, and has often found those parameters slipping.

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pl0I’ll leave you with one of Lissac’s lighthearted drawings, in which a bobbed-haired model wanders over to examine her portrait, while the artist is taking a natural break, and just say that all images here are reproduced under ‘fair use’ provisions. As always, thank you for visiting.

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