What makes an artist draw erotica? For some it’s what they choose to draw from the start of their career as an artist but for others not so much. For those “other” artists, drawing sex and nudity is something they would prefer to keep a secret for all kinds of reasons. Tom Poulton was one of these artists.
Publicly known as an English magazine and medical book illustrator, Poulton kept his erotic artwork a secret. Britain was extremely reserved about sexuality in the early part of the 20th century. It was believed by some that Poulton’s secrecy about his erotica was from fear of being imprisoned for obscenity.
It wasn’t until after his death that it was discovered that he spent his free time drawing vast amounts of erotica, literally capable of filling up a book…and that’s just what happened.
The Secret Art of an English Gentleman
First made public by master yachtsman and close friend, Beecher Moore, Poulton’s erotic drawings were uncategorized and very little information about them existed. Eventually the works were compiled into a book comprised of over 200 pages of soft pencil erotic sketches and drawings.
Regardless of certain negative views people may have about such work, there is no denying the fact that Tom Poulton was a master artist, highly skilled in soft pencil sketches whose line work was powerful, making the characters all the more striking and realistic.
In fact, Poulton’s ability to draw the human form engaged in sexual activity was so natural and real looking that many speculated that Poulton drew his pictures, while the sex was happening in front of him. This means that all the people portrayed in his work could have been real people and his drawings of orgies may have been real events.