Raphael’s official printmaker had a naughty side — he created the first mass-produced book of sexual titillation.
It was Raimondi who created the images for the first work of printed pornography – a book called ‘I Modi’ (‘The Positions’ or ‘The Ways’) also known as ‘The Sixteen Pleasures’ (or if you’re into Latin ‘De omnibus Veneris Schematibus’).
As per the title the book was built around engravings of 16 sexual positions – based on a lost series of paintings by Giulio Romano – Raphael’s pupil – which he had painted for Federico II Gonzaga – to decorate and provide inspiration at his Palazzo Te in Mantua (destroyed in 1630 during the War of Mantuan Succession).
Raimondi first published the engravings in 1524.
Pope Clement VII was unimpressed and threw him into prison – ordering all copies of the engravings burned.