Marquis de Sade (1740 - 1814) was a French writer famous for both his perverse erotic literature as well as philosophy. His name "Sade" (pronounced "Saad") is the origin of the word Sadism. He is perhaps best known today for his 1785 erotic novel "120 Days of Sodom", which has been reproduced in many forms over the last century including various translations and a film adaptation in 1975, set in Nazi Germany, by genius film director Pasolini.
Marquis de Sade was a notorious atheist and libertine, a firm believer of extreme freedom without moral restraint, though ironically spent most of his life in prison which is where he began writing.
The Marquis de Sade wrote "120 days of Sodom" whilst imprisoned in the Bastille. 120 Days of Sodom is story of a group of Libertines who locked themselves away in a castle with many young women and men as their captives who were subjected to rape, torture and eventually death at the hands of their captors. Fearing confiscation of his work, Sade wrote it in minute letters on a 12 meter roll of paper (much like a roll of toilet paper) and kept it hidden in his cell. In 1789 the Bastille was stormed and looted during the French Revolution and it was assumed Marquis de Sade's most infamous novel was lost forever until 1904 when it was discovered still hidden in his cell after over 200 years. It was controversially published the following year in 1905.
Since this book was never published in his lifetime, he was better know his philosophical works which were based on the principle that there is no God and the only purpose in life is to enjoy it to the fullest, regardless of morals or the victims of such a lifestyle.
In 1798, he published two erotic novels called "Justine" and "Juliette" though at the time he denied these were his works. These two books explored the principles behind his philosophies and have an interesting Yin and Yang aspect to them, however karma has no place within their bindings. "Justine" was about an honest and proper religious girl who faced misfortune where ever she went. "Juliette" (Justine's sister) on the other hand was a sadistic libertine seeking nothing but pleasure for herself and succeeding.
A Dutch edition of Juliette was illustrated by Claude Bornet (1733 - 1804) a French painter and engraver better known for his miniature portraits. I assume Bornet designed the erotic images based on the Marquis' book as well as engraved them, so it is perhaps best to think of him as the artist of the images in this gallery.