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History of women's combat in illustrations

Part I


Kees Van Dongen (1877-1968), The Tabarin Wrestlers, 1907-08 (Oil on canvas)
Noveau Musee National de Monaco. Photo Marcel Loli
Les Cahiers

Русская версия

Part II

Until a few decades ago women's physical single combat was a rarity and exotics, and usually existed as legends. Very few testimonies remain about female single combat from the past but then there are paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, caricatures and photographs. The excellent collection of Werner Sonntag, published in his book "Kampfes Lust" ("Fighting Lust"). is the priceless source of information about history of female combat. Translation of the captions and brief comments are made by the author of the book especially for the Female Single Combat Club.

Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag

Primitive and wild mixed fights:


Left:

The battle of the sexes in prehistoric times.
Coloured pencil by Felisien Rops



Right:

Woman kidnapping, etching by the German painter Max Slevogt.
From "History of Erotic Art" (translation of the German title) by Eduard Fuchs), Vol. 1.

Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag


Wrestling Nymphs

Left:

The XVI century sculptor Barthelemy Prieur drew wrestling Nymphs.
This subject perhaps was inspired by the story of Diana and Callisto (which then was drawn by Titian).


Right:

Similar miniature of the XVII century is exposed in Vienna museum of Art History.

Wrestling Nymphs



Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag

Left:

Female wrestlers (of Sparta?)
Drawing by the French painter Eugene Delacroix



Right:

This picture of the series "La vie Parisienne" (The life of Parisian women) shifts us into the Female Olympic Games in the times of Phryne (Athenes courtesan of 4th century B.C.) but also into the times of female clubs in big towns like Paris and Berlin.
A piquant combination of Antique, "Decadence" and "Roaring twenties".
Collection Francoise Laget from "Le Grand Livre du Sport Feminin" (Big book about female sports).


Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag



Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag

Left:

Judicial single combat between man and women, drawing from the year 1467.
From "Picture Lexicon of Eroticism" (translation of the German title), Vol. 1, Culture History, 1930



Right:

"Duel" by Mastaglio.
Detail from a post card, near 1905


Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag



Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag

Left:

"Seven women fight for a pair of trousers", copper engraving by Franz Brun, 1560.
"Illustrated History of Morals" (translation of the German title) by Eduard Fuchs, Vol. 1



Right:

"And in the Evening there will be a brawl", Italian copper according to a painting by F. Majotto, about 1775.
"The Woman Regency in the History of Humanity" (translation of the German title), Vol. 1.


Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag



Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag

Sometimes motifs for photography are copied from works of art.
These photos of a fencing duel represent the situation of the painting "Una questione d’onore" (an affair of honour) by Emile Bayard.
Italian postcard after 1906.
Serie "Erotical Postcards" (translation of the German title)


Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag



Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag

Left:

"Fight of Amazons" (translation of the German title), drawing by Hans Wassmann, in the twenties. Wassmann, a German high officer in the World War I, was one of the first known men with the inclination to women wrestling.
By Ernst Schertel’s "The Complex of Flagellomanie", 1932.



Right:

Polynesian women at boxing on Tongatabu, one of the islands, which James Cook named "Friendly Islands".
In the 18th century there Cook watched fighting women.
Colored engraving from the 19th century, printed by Drouart, Paris.
Collection Francoise and Serge Laget, Paris.


Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag



Sonntag’s collection.


Left:


Erotical scene "Stimulation"
Water color and pencil by the Spanish aquarellist, illustrator and lithographer Eusebi Planas.
According to the Catalanian artist's biography by Pilar Velez: "Eusebi Planas (1833 - 1897) - Illustrador de la Barcelona Vuitcentista", he illustrated many books, including novels from Dumas and the Spanish edition of Pierre Dufour’s "Histoire de la Prostitution".
Perhaps, this water color is a part of "Historia de la prostitucion en todos los pueblos del mundo" (1874 / 1875)

Right:

"Women Wrestling in Devonshire".
Painting by Jean Veber (1868 - 1928), near 1898.
From the "Idols of Perversity" by Bram Dijkstra,
First source "Catalogue Illustre du Salon de 1899 Societe Nationale des Beaux-arts", Paris.


Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag



Sonntag’s collection.

Left:

In the years 1885 - 1890 it seems there was a trend that liberal women took lessons in boxing.
Collection Mary Evans in "Le Grand Livre du Sport Feminin" (The Big Book of the Feminine Sport).



Right:

Female Boxer. The London boxmaster Stanfull in the training with his female pupils.
By the German illustrated Newspaper "Das interessante Blatt", 1887.


Published in "Kampfes Lust" by Werner Sonntag



Sonntag’s collection.

Left:

Wrestling belongs to the pleasures on fun-fairs. On this postcard "Greetings from riflemen’s meeting", sended 1902, there is a challenge to a mixed fight. The German text on the card: "This young man will wrestle with the madame! Wrrrrestling, wrrrrestling!"



Right:

Greetings from a fun-fair in the twenties in Nuremberg (Bavaria). The Presentation of power was very popular now as before.


Sonntag’s collection


Part II

>> History of Combat

>> Art

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