“No longer was she merely the dancing-girl who extorts a…

“No longer was she merely the dancing-girl who extorts a cry of lust and concupiscence from an old man by the lascivious contortions of her body; who breaks the will, masters the mind of a King by the spectacle of her quivering bosoms, heaving belly and tossing thighs; she was now revealed in a sense as the symbolic incarnation of world-old Vice, the goddess of immortal Hysteria, the Curse of Beauty supreme above all other beauties by the cataleptic spasm that stirs her flesh and steels her muscles; a monstrous Beast of the Apocalypse, indifferent, irresponsible, insensible, poisoning.” —Joris-Karl Huysmans, describing Moreau’s painting of Salome with the head of St. John the Baptist.

[image: antique painting that I couldn’t find an attribution for painting of a young white woman carrying a tray with the severed head of a man on it; ETA: via deepomega, it’s Bernardino Luini’s Salome with the Head of John the Baptist. ] <—I like it better than the Moreau!

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