How true this is:
Unhappy perhaps is man, but happy the artist torn by desire!
I am consumed by a desire to paint the woman who appeared to me so rarely and who so quickly fled, like a beautiful regretted thing the voyager leaves behind as he is carried away into the night. How long it is now, since she disappeared!
She is beautiful and more than beautiful; she is surprising. Darkness in her abounds, and all that she inspires is nocturnal and profound. Her eyes are two caverns where mystery dimly glistens, and like a lightning flash, her glance illuminates: it is an explosion in the dark.
I have compared her to a black sun, if one can imagine a black star pouring out light and happiness. But she makes one think rather of the moon, which has surely marked her with its portentous influence; not the white moon of idylls which resembles a frigid bride, but the sinister and intoxicating moon that hangs deep in a stormy night, hurtled by the driven clouds; not the discreet and peaceful moon that visits pure men while they sleep, but the moon torn from the sky, the conquered and indignant moon that the Thessalian Witches cruelly compel to dance on the frightened grass!
That little forehead is inhabited by a tenacious will and a desire for prey. Yet, in the lower part of this disturbing countenance, with sensitive nostrils quivering for the unknown and impossible, bursts, with inexpressible loveliness, a wide mouth, red and white and alluring, that makes one dream of the miracle of a superb flower blooming on volcanic soil.
There are women who inspire you with the desire to conquer them and to take your pleasure of them; but this one fills you only with the desire to die slowly beneath her gaze.Charles Baudelaire, The Desire to Paint (Paris Spleen: 1869)
HT to Trixie.
I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?