Baudelaire’s Watteau

L'amour au théâtre italien, c. 1718
Watteau, ce carnaval où bien des coeurs illustres,
Comme des papillons, errent en flamboyant,
Décors frais et légers éclairés par des lustres
Qui versent la folie à ce bal tournoyant;

Watteau — bright carnival, where courtly pairs,
like butterflies in satin, flit about;
flaming in misty groves ‘neath resin-flares
which pour their madness on the whirling rout;

Text —Les Phares from Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire, 1857 (read the entire poem and three English translations here)
Image —L’amour au théâtre Italien by Antoine Watteau, c. 1718, painting in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

One Response to “Baudelaire’s Watteau”

  1. always good to see Baudelaire quoted!, especially when it accompanies a Watteau picture

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