Marquis Franz von Bayros was born in Zagreb in 1866, as the son of a Spanish nobleman. He became an artist, standing out amongst his contemporaries for his enticing and delicate graphic style. He drew a series of erotic drawings, depicting worldly beauties in compromising positions. One of his erotic portfolios, ‘Erzahlungen vom Toilettentisch’ (‘Tales from the Dressing Table’), caused a courtcase and made Von Bayros famous.
Von Bayros was born in Zagreb, in present-day Croatia. At the age of 17, he passed the entrance exam for the Vienna Academy with Eduard von Engerth. Von Bayros mixed in elegant society and soon belonged to the circle of friends of Johann Strauss II, whose stepdaughter Alice he married in 1896. The next year, von Bayros moved to Munich.
In 1911, the Munich police persecuted him because of his illustrations and forced him into exile from Germany. He drew about 2000 illustrations in all his life, for books such as Dante’s ‘Divina Commedia’ and those by Hans Bartsch. His legacy is a wonderful collection of lovely, decadent erotic but elegant masterpieces, with a love for every smallest beautiful detail, rarely found elsewhere. Franz von Bayros died in Vienna on 3 April 1924.