Art: Gustave Moreau

In the work of Gustave Moreau . . . des Esseintes saw, realized at last, the strange and superhuman Salome he had dreamed of . . . the accursed Beauty, marked out from all others by the catalepsy which stiffened her flesh and hardened her muscles; the monstrous Beast, indifferent, unresponsive, unfeeling and, like Helen in antiquity, poisoning everyone who came near her. . .

Perhaps no living painter has ever been thrust into such notoriety by a novel as Moreau was by the publication of J.K. Huysmans' manifesto of decadence, A Rebours, in...

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