Pietro Aretino, Italian renaissance author, playwright, poet, satirist and blackmailer, has for centuries been an inspiration for later erotic writers and illustrators, and his Ragionamenti (Reasonings) of 1534–6 are a perfect foil for Amandine Doré’s light and witty illustration style.

In the first of this pair of dialogues, set in ancient Rome, Nanna and Antonia sit under a fig-tree and discuss the life options open to Nanna’s daughter, Pippa – should she become a nun, a wife or a prostitute? In the follow-up dialogue, comprising the second volume, Nanna teaches her daughter Pippa all about the relationships between prostitutes and their clients.

Aretino’s Ragionamenti  illustrated by Amandine Doré was published in 1970 by Les Editions de l’Ibis in two volumes, in a limited edition of 1,250 copies.