Christina Burch
Fleur du Mal
2002
Acrylic on canvas
20x20"
"Fleur du Mal" is part of the Mugarbi collection in New York. This work is inspired by Baudelaire's poem, "Love and the Skull" from "Fleur du Mal" (below in english and the original french).

Old Corbel

Love is seated on the skull
Of Humanity,
And on this profane throne,
With an impudent laugh,

Gaily blows round bubbles
That rise in the air,
As if they wished to rejoin the worlds
In the depths of the ether.

The luminous, frail globe
Takes full flight,
Bursts and spits out its slender soul
Like a dream of gold.

With each bubble, I hear the skull
Beg and whimper:
-- "When will this ferocious
And ridiculous game end?

For what your cruel mouth
Scatters in the air,
Monstrous assassin, is my mind,
My blood, and my flesh!"

Vieux cul-de-lampe

L'Amour est assis sur le crâne
De l'Humanité,
Et sur ce trône le profane,
Au rire effronté,

Souffle gaiement des bulles rondes
Qui montent dans l'air,
Comme pour rejoindre les mondes
Au fond de l'éther.

Le globe lumineux et frêle
Prend un grand essor,
Crève et crache son âme grêle
Comme un songe d'or.

J'entends le crâne à chaque bulle
Prier et gémir:
-- "Ce jeu féroce et ridicule,
Quand doit-il finir?

Car ce que ta bouche cruelle
Eparpille en l'air,
Monstre assassin, c'est ma cervelle,
Mon sang et ma chair!"
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