Images of Sexual Positions in Art

There are many different images of sexual positions in art. These images range from Romano to I Modi. You may have seen one by Hokusai or the shunga by Romano. In this article, we look at the different sexual positions and the artists who depicted them. We also look at the works of the Renaissance master Raphael.

Images of Sexual Positions in Art
Images of Sexual Positions in Art

I Modi

I Modi, or The Sixteen Pleasures, is an illustrated sex guide first published in 1524 by Italian artist Marcantonio Raimondi. It was the first known work of pornography to be banned by the Catholic church. Raimondi was sentenced to prison by Pope Clement VII, but Giulio Romano escaped. The images were meant to educate the reader about sexual pleasure and arouse them.

I Modi, originally published in Vienna, quickly gained popularity. But the Vatican banned them, deeming them obscene. Raimondi was imprisoned, but Romano received no punishment. Vatican officials viewed the erotic drawings as a violation of public order, but Aretino and other artists were able to campaign for Raimondi’s release.


During his lifetime, Hokusai was devoted to the genre of shunga, Japanese paintings of sexual positions. His shunga paintings were created for two purposes: to please the viewers and to protect the owner of the painting. His Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, for example, is a popular example of shunga paintings. The open position of the woman’s body and mouth are indicative of her sexual arousal and inspire viewers’ own flights of fantasy.

Hokusai first used his modern name in 1801 and signed his paintings with the phrase, “painted by the madman of painting, Hokusai,” or “painted by the madman of painting.” He was also noted for his eccentricity in everyday life, especially when it came to cleanliness. He once threw a Chinese dragon out of a window in a gesture of good luck.


The erotic works of Giulio Romano include a book of engravings depicting 16 different sexual positions, commonly known as I Modi. It was published in 1524 by engraver Marcantonio Raimondi, who based the images on a series of erotic privately owned paintings by Romano. The book caused controversy in the Catholic church, and the Pope condemned it and arrested Raimondi. Pope Clement VII burned all copies of the book.

Hokusai’s shunga

The popularity of Hokusai’s shanga can be traced to its popularity in Edo period (1603-1867). Woodblock printing techniques led to an increase in the production of shunga. However, the introduction of Western culture posed some challenges. In 1661, the Tokugawa shogunate banned erotic books, or koshokubon, or “lewdness books.” Despite this, the shunga style remained a popular style for the next few centuries.

Although there is a strong connection between Hokusai’s sunga and his shunga style, these styles are distinct from one another. The earliest examples of these ema panels, from 1806 and 1812, are on display outside the Mimeguri Shrine. While the panels are in a poor condition, they have been used as a means of advertisement for the name change.

Romano’s shunga

Romano’s shunga is not a genre that is mundane or bookish. Its satire focuses on physical attraction and the male-male relationship. The genre is derived from Greek and Roman erotica, and is not limited to women. It can also be influenced by popular literature, religious and medical themes, or political analogies. It is a highly visual genre, and can be both amusing and thought-provoking.

It’s difficult to know exactly when shunga began, but there are some notable works that date back to the early nineteenth century. Giulio Romano’s Il Modo (published in 1817) is an example of a shunga print. This work is a great example of how the art form came to represent the human form.