An Erotic Etching is a signed etching dating from 1975. Belonging to the Erotic Prints series, comprising numerous works produced during the early portion of David Hockney’s artistic career, this etching was created for art historian and academic Peter Webb’s seminal publication, The Erotic Arts (1975) and released in an edition of 100. Featuring a number of interviews with influential artists of the period, such as Henry Moore, Hans Bellmer, Allen Jones and Hockney himself, Webb’s book was the first scholarly exploration of the importance of eroticism as a source of artistic inspiration. Hockney’s print accompanies the work’s lengthy exploration of the interplay between pornography, societal attitudes towards sex, and artistic production: themes which permeate its visibly erotic subject matter. A straightforward portrayal of nudity and sexual activity, An Erotic Etching moves away from Hockney’s coded references to homosexuality, characteristic of his hugely famous work We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961), the name of which references a poem by American writer Walt Whitman. Forthright and candid, this etching is a direct reflection of the period in which it was created: produced at a time when homosexuality was no longer illegal in Britain — it was legalised in 1967 — the work sees Hockney explore his own sexuality in a direct and determined fashion.