Année galante, ou étrenne à l’amour (The Gallant Year, or A New Time for Love) is one of the earliest known printed erotic portfolios. This copy, from the collection of the French National Library, is hand-coloured, with seasonal scenes of lovemaking including winter-time sledging and summer swimming.

Described as ‘contes enrichis de figures et d’ariettes’ (stories adorned with pictures and poems), this little book reminds us that sexual frissonerie is as old as human interaction.

We are grateful to our colleague Gérard Coron for introducing us to this portfolio.

A PDF version of the whole book, including the unedited versions of the images and all the text (in French), can be found here.