Hats off to the publishers Phaidon for making the cover of their latest tome, The Art of the Erotic, a more subtle (rather than slutty) affair. The fold-out cover, which unravels and re-assembles into a slit, is inspired by Lucio Fontana’s 1950s series, Concetto Spaziale. More than 170 sexed-up works are featured including an Athenian cup dating from 470BC, Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World (1866) and Thomas Ruff’s Nudes ru 05 (Nud 053) (2000). Bruce Nauman, Titian, Nan Goldin and Cecily Brown also pop up in the arty erotic overview. “Each work is described and interpreted within the context of the social and artistic mores of its time,” a press statement says. The journalist Rowan Pelling, the former editor of The Erotic Review, has written the introduction. “The erotic is a realm where desire and imagination meet,” she points out.