Charles Baudelaire: The Flowers Of Evil

This is my 2013 of Chloe Moretz used as a mock-up for Baudelaire’s poetry collection Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers Of Evil). I’ll be honest I’ve never read it, but I have enjoyed the art and writing his work influenced, especially the short-lived and often-overlooked Symbolist movement, which I studied a lot in the years before I started painting. Images of Medusas and chimeras and suchlike may seem hopelessly at odds with Western culture’s contemporary concerns, but I’m reminded of Renan’s quote about the state of things at  the fag-end of the 19th century: “Our century is not moving towards either good or evil: it is moving towards mediocrity.” Unfortunately, I see a lot of mediocrity around today, so perhaps we need a bit of Jean Delville, Franz Von Stuck and even Baudelaire himself to liven things up a bit.

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