Martin van Maële (1863 - 1926) was an early 20th century Belgian artist and illustrator who created many erotic works, ranging from absurd drawings and caricatures (such as men with giant phalluses) to the violent and disturbing. Maybe "Martin van Maële" was a pseudonym and René Gockinga was his real name, but it could also be the other way round. He also created many works of vintage spanking art for French publishers. He is considered one of the most important artists and illustrators of his time and is sometimes compared with other famous artists such as Aubrey Beardsley.
Martin van Maële's date of birth is unknown. According to The Erotica Bibliophile, he was born on 12 October 1863 in the city of Boulogne-Billancourt, France, to Virginie Mathilde Jeanne Van Maele and Louis Alfred Martin; his real full name was Maurice François Alfred Martin (so Martin van Maële, according to this source, was a pseudonym constructed from his father's and mother's last names).
He was a student of Félicien Rops, the famous Belgian artist and engraver. Van Maële worked in shops in Paris and Brussels around the turn of the century, where the noted publisher Charles Carrington discovered his talents. Both worked together between 1895 and 1918, and between 1901 and 1907 van Maële worked exclusively for Carrington, for whom he illustrated at least eight famous flagellation novels. In that period van Maële also illustrated works by H.G. Wells, and at least four Sherlock Holmes books published by Félix Juven.
In 1907, Carrington was expelled from France, and from that year to 1918, Martin van Maële created very little artwork. He illustrated only five or six books that were published by Jules Chevrel. In this period, Martin van Maële sometimes used the pseudonym A. Van Troizem.
In 1919, after the end of World War I, Martin van Maële became active again. He illustrated eleven more books, most of which were published by Jean Fort (Collection des Orties Blanches). Martin van Maële died in 1926 while working on the drawings for Les Dialogues de Pietro Aretino by Pietro Aretino. The frontispiece and two of the engravings were made by Viset Luc Lafnet.
According to The Erotica Bibliophile, Martin van Maële was married to Marie Françoise Genet. They had no children. At the time of his death they lived in Chantilly (Oise), France. Martin van Maële died on 5 September 1926, and is buried in the cemetery of Varennes-Jarcy, France.
Maële's most famous work is the extremely rare "La Grande Danse Macabre des Vifs", published by Charles Carrington in 1908. It was limited to 100 copies (cover).
This is an incomplete list of Martin van Maële's flagellation novel illustrations:
- La Flagellation des Femmes en Allemagne by Jean de Villot (1901), Charles Carrington
- Thais (1901), Charles Carrington
- Camille et Moi (1904), Charles Carrington
- La Trilogie Érotique (Amies - Femmes - Hombres) by Paul Verlaine (1907), illustrated by Van Troizem (Martin van Maële)
- Lettres à la présidente et galanteries poétiques by Théophile Gautier (1907), Jules Chevrel, illustrated by Van Troizem (Martin van Maële)
- La Grande Danse Macabre des Vifs, Charles Carrington (1908)
- La Sorcière by Jules Michelet (1911), J. Chevrel
- L'Instrument des apothicaires by Claude de Saint-Hieble (pseudonym of Pierre Dumarchey), Jean Fort (1920)
- Les Princesses de Cythère by Pascal Fely (pseudonym of Pascal Pia), Jean Fort (1920)
- La Comtesse au Fouet by Pierre Jusange (1926), Collection des Orties Blanches
- Les Dialogues de Pietro Aretino by Pietro Aretino (1927)
- The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius, Englished by Harold Berman (1930), privately printed, illustrated by René Gockinga
- The Satyrical Drawings Of Martin van Maële:
- Hardcover, The Cythera Press, New York, 1970, ISBN 0070202028
- Paperback, The Cythera Press, New York, 1970, ASIN B000K7B5LQ
- Martin van Maele on Vintage Visions
- Erotica in Art: Martin van Maële with 27 images
- Martin van Maële on Wikimedia Commons
- Martin van Maële illustrations (17 images) on The Erotica Bibliophile
- Martin van Maële page on The Erotica Bibliophile (promising biographical information on the artist once they find a publisher)
- La Flagellation des femmes en France info and illustrations on Biblio Curiosa (1 image)
- Martin van Maële gallery with four images on the Encyclopedia of Spanking Art
- Martin van Maële gallery with four images on Femdomart.ru
- The Art of Martin van Maële with three images on BDSM Art Archiv
- An Art Deco etching by Rene Gockinga, dated 1924
- Examples of Martin van Maële's absurd/disturbing erotica, from Brian's Page of Antique Weirdness :
- Blog page with lots of vintage erotica
- Van Maele gallery on Il Nudo