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Still Lifes of Roses and Fruit, with Clandestine Erotic Scenes in Lower Layers

Photo credit: Wellcome Collection

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Public Domain

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The painting consists of three wooden slats, two of which are painted on both sides, with the third painted on one side. They slide into a frame in such a way that a painting of pink and white roses is on the outside. When hung on the wall or placed on a shelf, it looks like an ordinary still life painting of flowers. The slats can be pulled out to reveal erotic scenes on the reverse of each slat. The painting was probably produced in Naples. It is one of a number of anamorphic (shape-changing) pictures in the Wellcome Library, some of which are designed to conceal clandestine or forbidden images.

Wellcome Collection



Still Lifes of Roses and Fruit, with Clandestine Erotic Scenes in Lower Layers


oil on wood


H 21.6 x W 16.3 cm (E)

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased by Henry S. Wellcome, c.1900–1936

Work type


Inscription description

Summonte pittore


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Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road, London, Greater London NW1 2BE England

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