Jul 5, 2014

The Only Penis Drawn by Willy Pogany

My first exposure to mythology came from some older books in the Denkmann library: The Adventures of Odysseus, The Children of Odin, and The King of Ireland's Son, all written by Padraic Colum and illustrated by the Hungarian-American artist Willy Pogany (1882-1955).


He liked his models big.









Later I found some other books illustrated by Pogany.  This is my first exposure to the Faust legend.  The diabolical figure Mephistophiles is rather muscular, and naked, but I was disappointed to see that he had no penis.

Ok, for some reason  the Devil never has a penis in Western art.













But there's no excuse for Pogany's depiction of  Amfortas in the German epic Parsifal without a penis.













One might expect the advertising layout for Mohawk Rugs to feature Native Americans, but no, it's a harem of Middle Eastern boys.















Pogany was also interested in the female form. His art instruction books all have naked women on the covers, and he illustrated Pierre Louys' Songs of Bilitis (1926), poems in praise of the lesbian poetess Sapho.  Del Martin borrowed its title for the first lesbian organization in the U.S., The Daughters of Bilitis.


Also some heterosexual erotic art -- but even there, his men lack penises.














In fact, I was able to find only one penis depicted in all of his oeuvre.  Sort of: