BÉCAT, Paul-Émile. L’ARETIN. ~ Les Ragionamenti.
Limited edition in one volume. 11 erotic colour plates by Bécat, black and white illustrations in text. 8vo., bound later in a full green morocco binding with an erotic image of a female nude looking into a mirror on the upper cover, original wrappers bound in, housed in a green cloth slipcase. Spine faded, otherwise a very good copy.
Written between 1534 and 1536 in two volumes, Pierre L’Aretino’s Ragionamenti is a kind of manual for women of pleasure. Until at least the 18th century, his work was considered to be a highlight of erotic literature - who better to illustrate it than the erotic master Bécat.
Each volume covers three days, during the first three, Nanna searches for what is best for her daughter Pippa. She has three options: let her daughter enter a convent, let her marry or let her become a whore. With her friend Antonia, she deals with one situation a day. Eventually she comes to the conclusion that her daughter should have sex regardless of the situation and it is best to get her daughter to become a prostitute so that she at least gets paid. In the last three days, the author then explains what it takes to be a whore, the weaknesses of the man and finally the matchmakers.