“I Modi”: The Sixteen Pleasures. Reviews

“The real importance of I Modi probably lies in the brief tantalizing glimpse it gives of a Renaissance Italy far different from the one we learned about in school – a world where a few privileged people cultivated sex as advanced calisthenics in an uncannily 20th century style”

–Walter Kendrick, Village Voice Literary Supplement


“It is not difficult to see why poet Aretino should have been moved by these drawings. Besides their obvious and by today’s standards rather innocent eroticism, they are beautifully rendered pieces of draughtmanship.”

— Philip Kerr. London, Sunday Times


“Anyone who found The Joy of Sex a little pedestrian will discover “I Modi”. The Sixteen Pleasures a much more edifying bedside read.

British GQ


“A most curious and compelling bit of erotica, buried under 400 years of papal censorship and much piracy, has been resurrected and placed into a disturbing social context by poet and art scholar Lynne Lawner. What seems, at first, to be amorously sporting couples become political and feminist allegories. The Renaissance, commonly held to be a period of glittering enlightenment and achievement, is shown to have had a moldering, decadent private life.”

Twin Cities Book Review (Minneapolis, Minnesota)


In 1989 Art Forum International asked ten artists to choose their favorite books of the year and critique them for the December issue. Robert Kushner chose “I Modi”. The Sixteen Pleasures: An Erotic Album of the Italian Renaissance. “I modi addresses sexuality head on, in a way we are generally unused to, except in pornography. Here, however, sexuality is evoked with verve, wit and elegance…. Lynne Lawner’s compilation and translation of the extant materials is a breeze, spicy, racy romp.”

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