La Vie Parisienne was one of a number of French magazines that began publication in the nineteenth century and reached their height during the Great War and the inter-war years. Basically, La Vie Parisienne was a magazine devoted to the social and artistic milieu of Paris through the lens of humour and some mildly racy illustrations. Not so mild for General Pershing, the commander of the American forces in Europe in WW1, who promptly warned his troops against buying it. This, of course, worked exactly as well as you might expect! The magazine was also banned in Belgium in World War 1.
Cover illustration by Hérouard for La Vie Parisienne (1917)
La Vie Parisienne and its imitators (of whom more another day) had their charming ladies in appropriately patriotic illustrations during the war years and this example by Chéri Hérouard (1881 - 1961) sums up the fate of wives, girlfriends and mistresses with the men away at the front. There is nothing to do but lounge around in a state of déshabillé drinking absinthe and thinking about sex. Or so the illustration seems to suggest! We will refrain from contemplating the possible role of the dog!
One of Hérouard's mermaids from 1926
Hérouard contributed his first illustration to La Vie Parisienne in 1907 and continued to provide pictures for them until 1952. He was particularly fond of mermaids which featured in many of his illustrations.
Under the pseudonym of Herric he also produced some mildly erotic works including an illustrated version of the Kama Sutra as well as pictures for other erotic books. He specialised in sado-masochistic themed illustrations including some rather charming lesbian ones, which we will feature shortly on our Seduction of Venus site, but here is a little taster.