LONDON Love, sex and passion - in all their forms - have inspired a new sale collection at Sotheby's in London.
Titled "Erotic: Passion & Desire," the auction lots feature art works from across the centuries and the world, including pieces by Pablo Picasso, Sarah Bernhardt and Helmut Newton.
"We've put together 107 works of art ranging from antiquity to contemporary," said Sotheby's senior director, Constantine Frangos. "It covers passion, desire and the appreciation of the human form."
Some works are explicitly carnal in nature, showing moments of intimacy, lust and pleasure. Both heterosexual and homosexual acts as well as masturbation are represented.
According to Sotheby's, the sale has attracted interest from an array of buyers in North America, Europe and Asia.
The exhibition encompasses diverse media, from photographs and pen sketches to ornate wood carvings and marble busts.
One item generating buzz is a recreation of a table that was supposedly delivered to Russia's Catherine the Great. The painted plywood table has details of breasts and penises. It is priced between 15,000 and 20,000 pounds.
Another highlight is a sculpture by Antony Gormley called Pole II, an abstract sculpture on the human body and the space it inhabits. That's expected to fetch as much as 450,000 pounds.
The collection goes on display on Saturday. The auction will be held on Feb. 16.
(Reporting by Sara Hemrajani in London; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)