History Of Erotica (Part 2): The Renaissance
The tradition and culture of Erotica from the Ancient world continued into the Middle Ages right up to the Renaissance.
The arrival of the printing press would make Erotica more widely available to the public, and this in turn would make it useful as Propaganda in the Renaissance wars against Europe’s Noble establishment.
In the Medieval period handmade books were extremely expensive.
For this reason, to get value for their money, people who commissioned Books endeavoured to make Books as engaging as possible which meant they would frequently request that sexual illustrations be included in the Books.
These sexual references were in the form of subtle illustrations embedded in the main text usually in the margins, and can even be found in the earliest Bibles.
With the invention of the Printing Press however, Pornographic Prints became widely available and popular in Europe, and during the Enlightenment, French free thinkers realised their potential to critique the Nobility and began using pornography as a medium of Political Satire.
The Catholic Church was frequently targeted as the drawings showed Priests, nuns and monks in uncompromising positions.
The French Queen Marie Antoinette was viciously attacked using Pornographic illustrations showing orgies,lesbian activities and the sexual impotence of King Louis XVI.
In the end, this type of Political Pornography robbed the Monarchy of its allure and mystique, causing a public psychological shift in the perception of the Monarchy that made the French Revolution as a Mass Movement possible.
The book was declared a National Treasure by the French Government in 2017, and remains a shocking example of sadistic Pornography which is perhaps now viewed as a form Libertine evil genius.
With the Printing Press, the Middle Ages and Renaissance period demonstrated the impact technology had on the distribution of Pornography, and its potential to influence Human behaviour on a mass scale.
During this period, Pornography served simulatenously as a gateway to individual physical pleasure and a Social Revolution that ushered in the liberal era of today.
In Part 2 of of the Documentary Pornography: The Secret History Civilization, the impact of the printing press on Erotica and society is explored.
A gallery of erotic images from the Renaissance era is also included below.