Gamiani, ou une nuit d’excès (Gamiani, or A Night of Excess), generally believed to have been written by Alfred de Musset, is one of the best-known and most-illustrated of French erotic novels. Based on de Musset’s experiences with George Sand and her lesbian lover, Gamiani opens with Alcide watching Countess Gamiani and her young lover Fanny enjoying one another’s bodies. Very much aroused, Alcide reveals himself and joins them, and they spend the rest of their time together sharing their intimate stories and re-enacting scenes from them.
Gamiani is one of the most frequently illustrated erotic texts, and Katinka Niederstrasser joined the ranks when commissioned by Merlin Verlag to produce eighteen chapter opener illustrations for a new German translation by Rolf Palm, incidentally the best ever to have been made – Palm also wrote an excellent introduction. Unfortunately the imaginative pencil illustrations are not well reproduced, which is possibly why Merlin and Niederstrasser chose to produce a Gamiani portfolio soon after the book was published.