Archive for Charles Baudelaire

La Présidente

Posted in Art, Painting with tags , , , , , , on November 8, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Madame Sabatier en Bacchante
Auguste Clésinger
marble, 1847
Musée d’Orsay


Apollonie Sabatier ‘La Présidente’
Vincent Vidal
mixed media on paper, c. 1848?
Musée National du Château de Compiègne


Baudelaire et la Présidente Sabatier
Thomas Couture (attributed)
oil on canvas, c. 1850
Musée d’Art Roger-Quilliot, Clermont-Ferrand


La Dame au Petit Chien
Gustave Ricard
oil on canvas, 1850
Musée Carnavalet


Madame Sabatier
Charles Barenne
photograph, c. 1860
location unknown

The model for Clésinger’s sublime Bacchante couchée and Femme piquée par un serpent, mistress and muse of Baudelaire, Apollonie Sabatier was one of the great femmes inspiratrices of mid-19th century Paris. In her salon in the Rue Frochot, Sabatier was host to the great artists and bohemians of the age; Nerval, Gautier, Berlioz, Manet, Doré, Hugo and many others. Such was her majesty that she was known as “La Présidente”

Some interesting links are here, here and here

Baudelaire’s Watteau

Posted in Painting, Poetry with tags , , on October 12, 2015 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

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


Posted in Photo, Poetry with tags , on February 16, 2011 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Nadar’s great portrait of 1855

Parisian Dream

Posted in Poetry with tags , on October 1, 2009 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

subway_prague metro

That marvelous landscape of my dream —
Which no eye knows, nor ever will —
At moments, wide awake, I seem
To grasp, and it excites me still.

Sleep, how miraculous you are —
A strange caprice had urged my hand
To banish, as irregular,
All vegetation from that land;

And, proud of what my art had done,
I viewed my painting, knew the great
Intoxicating monotone
Of marble, water, steel and slate.

Staircases and arcades there were
In a long labyrinth, which led
To a vast palace; fountains there
Were gushing gold, and gushing lead.

And many a heavy cataract
Hung like a curtain, — did not fall,
As water does, but hung, compact,
Crystal, on many a metal wall.

Tall nymphs with Titan breasts and knees
Gazed at their images unblurred,
Where groves of colonnades, not trees,
Fringed a deep pool where nothing stirred.

Blue sheets of water, left and right,
Spread between quays of rose and green,
To the world’s end and out of sight,
And still expanded, though unseen.

Enchanted rivers, those — with jade
And jasper were their banks bedecked;
Enormous mirrors, dazzled, made
Dizzy by all they did reflect.

And many a Ganges, taciturn
And heedless, in the vaulted air,
Poured out the treasure of its urn
Into a gulf of diamond there.

As architect, it tempted me
To tame the ocean at its source;
And this I did, — I made the sea
Under a jeweled culvert course.

And every color, even black,
Became prismatic, polished, bright;
The liquid gave its glory back
Mounted in iridescent light.

There was no moon, there was no sun, —
For why should sun and moon conspire
To light such prodigies? — each one
Blazed with its own essential fire!

A silence like eternity
Prevailed, there was no sound to hear;
These marvels all were for the eye,
And there was nothing for the ear.


I woke; my mind was bright with flame;
I saw the cheap and sordid hole
I live in, and my cares all came
Burrowing back into my soul.

Brutally the twelve strokes of noon
Against my naked ear were hurled;
And a gray sky was drizzling down
Upon this sad, lethargic world.

— Baudelaire, translation by Edna St. Vincent Millay

La Géante

Posted in Painting, Poetry with tags on August 7, 2009 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Giantess, artist unknownDu temps que la Nature en sa verve puissante
Concevait chaque jour des enfants monstrueux,
J’eusse aimé vivre auprès d’une jeune géante,
Comme aux pieds d’une reine un chat voluptueux.

J’eusse aimé voir son corps fleurir avec son âme
Et grandir librement dans ses terribles jeux;
Deviner si son coeur couve une sombre flamme
Aux humides brouillards qui nagent dans ses yeux;

Parcourir à loisir ses magnifiques formes;
Ramper sur le versant de ses genoux énormes,
Et parfois en été, quand les soleils malsains,

Lasse, la font s’étendre à travers la campagne,
Dormir nonchalamment à l’ombre de ses seins,
Comme un hameau paisible au pied d’une montagne.

— Charles Baudelaire