Today, illustrator Mahlon Blaine (1894-1969) is pretty much unknown, but in the roaring 20s and the early 30s his work was published in everything ranging from children’s books and mainstream magazines to erotic portfolios. Though phenomenally popular back then, his output declined sharply over time and, by 1969, he died penniless and mostly forgotten.
Blaine was a master of erotic and grotesque illustrations, reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley. He did paintings but he is best known for pen and ink drawings. “Nova Venus” features 38 of his decadent and erotic (by 1930’s standards) pen and ink drawings with a Creation theme. They are tipped to peach color mounts and assembled loosely in a green cloth portfolio, along with two pages of text, a title page and a limitation page. My copy is the first edition published in 1938, limited to 300 copies and signed by the artist.
via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/rMtWFE