Erotic works by cartoonist Ferry Ahrlé go to DFF

By Marco Dorada
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Erotic works by cartoonist Ferry Ahrlé go to DFF
Erotic works by cartoonist Ferry Ahrlé go to DFF


Erotic film posters at the German Film Museum

On June 17, 2018, the painter Ferry Ahrlé died in Frankfurt am Main. The talented artist not only portrayed famous people and wrote several books, he also created many erotic movie posters. Now his widow Sigrid has bequeathed the posters to the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum in Frankfurt. There they are now available to the general public.

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A brief overview of Ferry Ahrlé’s works

Many of the artist’s works were created in Frankfurt am Main starting in the 1950s. One of his most famous works is the film poster for Ingmar Bergmann’s masterpiece “Wild Strawberries”. The film is about an aging music professor who is confronted with his past on a long car trip.

For the film by Milos Forman “The Love of a Blonde” Ferry Ahrlé created a very sensual movie poster. The Czechoslovak feature film tells of the love adventures of a 17-year-old working-class girl.

Erotic works by illustrator Ferry Ahrlé go to DFF

The movie poster for the German crime film “Die Tote von Beverly Hills” is also a real feast for the eyes. The satirical film is about a murdered girl and her love life, which the plot gradually reveals.

Few writers are as synonymous with erotic entertainment as D. H. Lawrence. Based on the novella “The Fox,” the film of the same name was made, for which Ahrlé created a fitting, erotic movie poster.

“A Woman Like Satan” with Brigitte Bardot promises sensual and erotic entertainment already through the leading actress. Ferry Ahrlé drew a suitable film poster for it.

An exciting collection for friends of erotic movie posters

Ahrlé has created more than 60 film posters. His wife Sigrid decided to donate them to the German Film Museum four years after the artist’s death. According to his widow, the success of his paintings lies in the interplay between painting and graphics, two techniques that Ahrlé mastered well. The artist tried to stimulate the reader’s imagination with his pictures and thereby make them go to the movies.
The painter was by no means destined to become known for film posters.

Teen eroticism

In 1956, in a Frankfurt bar, he met the advertising director of Constantin Film by chance. Over the next ten years, most of the advertising posters were created.
For the archive manager of the Film Museum, Hans-Peter Reichmann, a particular plus point of the Ferry Ahrlé collection is that the works are not only available as images, but also digitally, so that interested parties can also borrow the artworks for a small archive usage fee. Overall, the posters are in very good condition, so they hardly needed any restoration.

Ahrlé’s pictures enchant and inspire

It is thanks to the painter’s widow and the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum that this treasure is accessible to anyone interested. Erotic movie posters by Ferry Ahrlé take the viewer into the world of film within a few seconds. Even those who don’t know the old films can enjoy the movie posters. Often they show only a few erotic details, but therein lies the charm, because the rest happens in the imagination of the viewer.

More in the German National Library: Literature by and about Ferry Ahrlé

Photos: Offenbach Post / Lyding

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