Carlos Schwabe’s Fleurs du Mal


La Déstruction.

More Symbolist femmes fatale, this time courtesy of Carlos Schwabe (1866–1926) and his illustrations for Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal from 1900. I’d had the site these pictures are from bookmarked for some time but hadn’t noticed that the version of Schwabe’s Spleen et Ideal illustration (below) was different to the one more commonly seen in books of Symbolist art. In fact the more common picture is about the only one of these illustrations that turns up at all in books. (It also appeared on a UK edition of Baudelaire’s poems, as I recall.) Schwabe is more usually represented by his mystically-inspired paintings and drawings, especially those he produced for the Salon de la Rose+Croix; on the strength of some of his Baudelairean pieces I’d say he’s a worthy companion to Félicien Rops.


L’Homme et la mer (from Spleen et idéal).


Spleen et idéal (1896).


La Mort des amants.

This picture reminds me of his other, more well-known, representation of death.


The death of the grave-digger (1900).

Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Philippe Wolfers, 1858–1929
The art of Félicien Rops, 1833–1898
The Masks of Medusa

6 thoughts on “Carlos Schwabe’s Fleurs du Mal”

  1. Hahaha…..! Given all the writhing erotics and morbidity (not to mention the snakes coming out of that woman’s breasts…), that was the last comment I expected!

  2. Some of his pictures remind me of Yoshitaka Amano. If I was born into an insane amount of wealth, one of the things I’d have done by now, besides doing incredibly random things to drive the general populace crazy, would’ve been to blackmail artists I like into doing whatever projects I wanted. In this case it’d be to make Amano illustrate major works by every eccentric fin-de-siecle Frenchman I can think of.

  3. I find Schwabe’s work rather on the sickly side of decadent symbolism, though one can’t fault his imagery. However, I much prefer the excesses of Gustav Adolf Mossa…

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