Around 1845 Julius Nisle turned to the illustration of erotic literature. He is said to have produced a set of drawings for an edition of Boccaccio’s Decameron, though there is now no trace of such a project.
In the late 1840s he started work on drawings for a new German edition of the nine volumes of Casanova’s memoirs. His forty-eight drawings were engraved by Adolf Gnauth and published in colour by the Stuttgart-based Scheible publishing house under the fictitious imprint of Deutscher Kunstverlag, supposedly in Paris.
The revealing engravings inevitably caused quite a stir, and under the threat of legal action Scheible withdrew most of the print run from circulation. Copies of the original printing are now a rare example of illustrated erotic literature.
In 1980 Harenberg published a facsimile edition of Gallerie for a Bertelsmann book club, but sadly the quality of the colour plates in the reprint is unforgivably poor. They even managed to misspell the title on the book’s cover.