A living rosary
Un Priape en forme de Terme is the informal title given to an engraving by Félicien Rops, first published in one of the volumes of Le Parnasse satyrique du XIXe siècle.
We see a giant armless Priapus contemplating, with a satisfied smile, a crowd of little women maddened by the monstrous charms of which they can not take advantage. Yet they rise boldly to storm the terrible and beautiful monument erected in their honor. Clinging to the slightest projections, hanging together, they form, from top to bottom, a living rosary around the column. At the bottom a plump mother, still embarrassed by her crinoline and her hat, seeks desperately to pass a competing assailant, midway, another has stopped in the shade of a thickly carpeted grove, and the sight of her alone provides some sweetness.
At the top, a more agile woman, is sitting on the crown of the building, we witness her fierce enjoyment.
The above text is an adaptation of Ramiro’s Catalogue of Rops’ Engraved Work (Paris, Conquet, 1887)