As these six powerful etchings are not signed, and the volume has no indication of the artist, we cannot be sure that they are by Lafnet even though they have many of the qualities of his work produced around the same time – the other possible candidate is Frans de Geetere, though his work of the period tended to be more grotesque.

Whoever made these images, they are the perfect complement to Paul Verlaine’s Femmes (Women), a collection of eighteen poems published in 1890 to celebrate Verlaine’s women friends and lovers, forming part of the poet’s notorious Oeuvres libres. At least two of the etchings, and perhaps a third, show Verlaine himself in action.

This edition of Verlaine’s Femmes was printed in a tiny edition of just 100 numbered copies ‘ne peut être mise dans le commerce’, not to be sold on the open market. No publisher’s details are given.