Twenty-Seven Poems from The Flowers of Evil

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Charles Baudelaire and Auguste Rodin

Les Fleurs du mal
Written by Charles Baudelaire
Illustrated by Auguste Rodin

In 1887, publisher and bibliophile Paul Gallimard asked Auguste Rodin to illustrate his personal copy of the rare 1857 edition of Charles Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil (now in the Musée Rodin, Paris). In 1918, the Société des Amis du Livre Moderne (Society of Friends of the Modern Book) published 200 facsimile copies, of which this is number 74.

Baudelaire's poetry had inspired Rodin during the conception of his major monument The Gates of Hell. His illustrations echo drawings made during the germination of that project in the early 1880s, including three examples of his "black drawings," so-called for the darkness of their content and ink wash. He also included sketches made after sculptural compositions, such as Orpheus and Eurydice and The Thinker, enjoying the multiplicity of symbolic resonances present in his work.

Rodin at The Met
Produced in conjunction with the exhibition Rodin at The Met, on view at The Met Fifth Avenue, September 16, 2017, through January 15, 2018. For highlights of Les Fleurs du mal visit The Met on Google Arts & Culture.

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Credits: Story

Illustrations by Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Text by Charles Baudelaire (French, Paris 1821–1867 Paris)
Vingt-sept poèmes des Fleurs du mal (Twenty-Seven Poems from the Flowers of Evil), 1918
Published by the Société des Amis du Livre Moderne, Paris
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1968 (68.632.1)

Credits: All media
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